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Does Affirmative Action Have a Place in College Admissions Standards?

Today, the AP covered a story regarding a ruling on UT-Austin Admission Standards. The story reads as follows:

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ The full 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is being asked to consider a 2008 challenge to University of Texas admission standards.

A three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based court ruled January 18 that UT-Austin can consider race and ethnicity in its admissions standards.

The panel upheld a ruling by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks that found UT did not violate the law in refusing admission to two white, female students. Abigail Fisher and Rachel Michalewicz sued.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that the two plaintiffs have now asked the full court to consider their appeal.

UT’s vice president for legal affairs, Patti Ohlendorf, said Thursday that a response will be prepared and that she believes the school’s “position and response will be very strong.”

I also read the proposal from 2004 in which University of Texas at Austin substantiates this admission standard. Even after reading their reasoning, and the reasoning of the Supreme Court, I just don’t feel a measure like this can be legitimately argued as a necessary standard.

College Students in Protest Against Affirmative Action (
College Students in Protest Against Affirmative Action (

I’ve never supported affirmative action, because I think it entitles people to special (and unearned) treatment. I wouldn’t want the only reason I have my job to be because I’m a woman. I want to earn my place, no matter if it be a job or a place in a classroom. The same thing goes for race and ethnicity. I think using race as a qualification on an application is well…racist. I have no problem with a person’s origin or their color. I only want to know that they are in their position because of their skill, not because of something as superficial as skin color or sex.

Allowing this kind of consideration in official institutions I feel defeats its very purpose. It clings to the idea of race as something to judge people on. I don’t care if it’s positive or negative; it’s not constructive to building true equality. It only builds on the bitterness that already exists. If you need a way to narrow down admissions, make stricter academic regulations, not racial ones.

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