Higher Education Uncategorized

News Clips: Bake Sales, Legacies, & Grutter

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

its critics.

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.


By mopress

Writer, Editor, Educator, Lifelong Student

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