Members of the Columbia College Conservative Club staged an “affirmative action bake sale”
in Alfred Lerner Hall yesterday, prompting a small but vocal crowd to form on the Lerner ramps.
[Columbia Spectator, Feb. 6, 2004, “Bake Sale Prompts Debate In Lerner: Conservative Club Targets
Affirmative Action in Admissons,” by Jacob McKean]
For more clips see
Oregon State University traditionally admits around 90 percent of students
who apply. So legacy admissions and affirmative action aren’t as much of an issue as they are at Texas
A&M, which had been using a point system to admit students. That system included extra points for being
the son or daughter of an alumnus….
Angelo Gomez is director of the Affirmative Action
and Equal Opportunity Office at OSU. He said legacy scholarships do not have the same impact as a
system of legacy admissions policies, such as those at Texas A&M. Scholarships make access more
feasible to students, he said, but at OSU legacy scholarships have to be viewed in the larger context.
[Corvallis Gazette-Times, Feb. 6, 2004, “The question of legacy scholars,” by Theresa Hogue]
WASHINGTON, D.C – At Penn, they “take it very seriously.” At Michigan it
“gets you extra points.” At Harvard, it “is not ignored,” and at Notre Dame, they are “very open”
to it. “It” is “legacy”: an admissions designation used by most private and some public
universities for applicants whose relatives attended the school, and who, as such, get some degree of
preferential treatment. It’s a practice as old as colleges themselves , and is intended to boost
alumni support and donations and foster a sense of community.
It’s also racist, argue
But, far from following A&M’s lead, most universities across the country
are chafing at the idea of additional restrictions on their admissions policies and speaking out
against the Kennedy bill. [Christian Science Monitor, Feb. 6, 2004, “Family ties: an unfair
advantage? mid debate over racial preferences, legacy admissions are suddenly cast in a harsher
light,” by Danna Harman.]
A student group at the College of William &
Mary fought successfully for restoration of their “affirmative-action bake sale,” a satirical event
designed to show harmful effects of race-based admission policies. [WorldNetDaily, Feb. 3, 2004,
“BRAVE NEW SCHOOLS. ‘Affirmative-action bake sale’ restored But college officials call parody
‘inexcusably hurtful,’ ‘abusive’.”]
Ohio State’s 2004 system
“eliminated all points” and included a “more individualized review process.” This review process
included four short-answer questions that “reflect Ohio State values” and optional parent and
grandparent information. The applications still allow for potential students to include their race, but
responses are optional.
While Freeman noted that Ohio State experienced a “decrease in
minority students, mainly African American” who applied to the university, she also noted that the
official realized that “educational diversity includes a number of factors,” not simply
Bill Kolb, with the University of Florida’s admissions department presented
next. He pointed out that his school “didn’t change their practices as a result of the Michigan
case.” Rather, he said, another case in Florida forced the college to discontinue practicing
affirmative action in college admissions.
A plan called “One Florida” was developed
in the state and Kolb described how recruitment practices with local high schools helped the program to
be a success….
Deborah Smith from Georgia Tech’s admissions department then took the
podium and discussed how charges of reverse-discrimination filed by a South Carolina senior in the
early 1990s caused her school to drop the use of race in accepting students.
Georgia Tech has increased overall student “quality” and maintained a diverse population, the school
is considering, after the results of the Michigan Case, potentially using race as a factor in its
admissions policy. [The Tiger Online (Clemson U), Jan. 30, 2004, “Officials discuss diversity
paradox,” by Caroline Stone.]—–
—–The One Florida Equity in Education plan
strengthens Florida’s commitment to diversity while eliminating some of the practices that have
permitted failure and been found to be unconstitutional in other states. Recently, we have seen race
based preferences in college admissions struck down by the courts in California, Texas and Georgia. In
anticipation that such rulings would likely occur, and to provide and alternative to a ballot
initiative that could have ended all affirmative action programs, Governor Bush created the One Florida
Equity in Education Plan.
On August 27, 2001, the United States Court of Appeals for the
Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Johnson v Board of Regents of University of Georgia, 263 F. 3d
1234 (11th Cir. 2001) ruled that raced based admissions to colleges and universities were
unconstitutional. This ruling applies to Florida, essentially shutting the door on race-based
admissions in our university system. Unlike other states, Florida was ready. The One Florida Equity in
Education Plan was already in effect and working. Diversity in the State University System has
generally increased or held steady since the day Governor Bush announced the One Florida Initiative.