Brea Jones/Staff Writer
On Tuesday, July 3, President Donald Trump officials reversed an important Barack Obama-era policy revolving around affirmative action. This policy was officially put into place by the Supreme Court in 2016, according to Constitution Daily. It was supposed to help create a diverse community on college campuses.
Now the Trump administration is calling for schools to have a race-blind admission standard that only focuses on a student’s academic merit.
In all honesty, there’s no legitimate reason for the policy to be reversed. Affirmative action does not harm anyone. It only encourages colleges to consider every single person and allow them the fair opportunity of a higher education.
With the policy’s official reversal, schools that keep race in mind during student admissions are at risk of facing a lawsuit or even lose funding from the Education Department, according to The New York Times.
As unfortunate and childish as it is, students have been suing schools for admission discrimination since 1978. However, most of those students weren’t admitted because they didn’t qualify.
In 2008, Abigail Fisher sued the University of Texas at Austin for race discrimination when she was denied admission. She blamed affirmative action but it was her extremely poor grades that caused her to be rejected. People like Fisher must realize that affirmative action does not make race the only factor that colleges consider when accepting students.
Although the policy makes colleges consider race to increase diversity, it’s not a handout like some people seem to believe. Every student, regardless of race, has to work hard and earn their acceptance into the institution of their choice.
Statistics show that affirmative action did help increase diversity among college campuses. Black enrollment alone has nearly doubled since 1994, according to The Atlantic. However, even with affirmative action in place, whites are still dominate at most of the top colleges, according to The New York Times.
I am glad to see how some schools are responding to this reversal. Colleges are declaring that they will continue to follow their current process and create a diverse atmosphere while having a fair admission process.
President Mark B. Rosenberg stated that the reversal will unlikely affect FIU’s admission process due to a Florida law that already prohibits the consideration of race in college admissions. Since 1999, all 13 of the public four-year universities in Florida have reported that they do not consider race in admissions, according to Ballotpedia.
“We remain committed to providing access to higher education for students of a variety of socio-economic, educational and cultural backgrounds. FIU mirrors our community; diversity is natural and integral part of who we are,” reads Rosenberg’s email to the University community.
As Rosenberg stated, colleges enrollment should reflect the diversity of the community itself. I hope all colleges take that into consideration when they accept students into schools.
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.
Photo taken from Flickr.