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Affirmative Action: Giving Preferential Admissions To Minority Students

1311 words - 5 pages

Should universities eliminate affirmative action polices that give preferential treatment in admissions to minority status?
“Anyone interested in higher education should want to contemplate, on behalf of colleges and universities, students and faculty, alumni and paying parents, the fate of affirmative action(Chace, M William 20). The Oxford Dictionary states Affirmative Action is “an action or policy favoring those who tend to suffer from discrimination, especially in relation to employment or education; positive discrimination.” In 1961, John F. Kennedy signed an Executive Order calling for “affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.” This is now known today as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission(EEOC). Affirmative action policies would later be forced upon businesses and have also been instituted at many universities where minorities are given preferred admissions over non-minorities. An Example of this would be at the University of Michigan where applicants who represented racial or ethnic minorities were given 20 points towards admission out of a 150 point system where only 100 points were needed to gain admission. Trying to put the 20 points in perspective, applicants with perfect SAT scores only received 12 points toward admission. This system was later struck down by the Supreme Court, but another similar policy was upheld at the University of Michigan Law School. With how diverse our society is currently compared to years ago, it seems to compliment that the policies have indeed worked. But now, the policies are questioned by many as whether or not they moral, constitutional, and/or hold society down as a whole.
When Michigan’s law school’s Affirmative Action policy was upheld in the Supreme Court, it sent out a message implying more importance on diversity than academic achievement. According to the court, universities have the freedom to define their values and have the right to administer policies that will promote that value. For the opposition, it is not hard to argue awarding a student more points for being a minority than achieving a perfect SAT score which defeats what a university encourages; namely, academic achievement. Is it not blatant discrimination when a policy places greater importance upon being from one ethnic or another? Again, according to the Oxford dictionary discrimination is defined as “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things , especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.” Some might argue Affimative Action is indeed a necessity to compensate for years of oppression. However, Martin Luther King Junior made it a goal to eliminate race conscious policies in support of policies that were color blind. I strongly believe that people would rather have color-blind polices that judged them according to there merit rather than their...

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