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February 22, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Affirmative action back in the Supreme Court

College should be about furthering education not race

While the issue of affirmative action will always be very controversial, I think it is important to consider the reasons why it has been pushed into the Supreme Court once again. The Abigail Noel Fisher story outlined in the article seems like an issue of scapegoating a system out of feelings of entitlement, as opposed to genuine concern whether her rights were violated [“Colleges fear end of using race as admission factor,” Nation & World Report, Feb. 22].

As mentioned in the article, most entering freshmen at University of Texas are admitted because they are among the top 10 percent in their high-school classes. The fact that Fisher’s grades didn’t put her in that category should be a good enough reason to explain why she was not accepted, why blame affirmative action?

There should be some light shed on why this particular incident has propelled the issue of affirmative action into the Supreme Court.

While there is no way of knowing how Fisher was supposedly affected by the current affirmative-action policies during the application process at University of Texas, it will still be interesting to see the results of the Supreme Court’s review.

— Jabari Smtih Fraser, Seattle

Race-conscious policies violate civil and constitutional rights

I agree with Abigail Fisher, that colleges with race-conscious policies violate civil and constitutional rights. I strongly disagree with the president of the University of Texas at Austin, Bill Powers, who says they need to know each applicant’s unique experiences and background so they can provide the best environment. You cannot know much about a person based on their background without making assumptions and judgments.

I never could understand why I needed to write down my race on my college application, or any application for that matter. It is unacceptable that colleges reject applicants based on race.

It is interesting that this story features a white applicant; had she been black, this may have started an even bigger controversy.

I can understand that perhaps the university wants to increase the diversity among its students because before taking race into consideration, only 21 percent of the study body was African-American and Hispanic. However, excluding white students is not the ethical way to do this.

Clearly, the university needs to work on ways in which it can appeal to a greater, diverse audience, instead of simply keeping out whites who are not in the 10 percent of their class.

— Carley Butcher, Seattle


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