The Supreme Court has ruled that The University of Texas’ admissions officials are allowed to consider the race of their applicants in a limited way that the University believes will help them build up a diverse student body.
The ruling was a surprising one for those who support affirmative action. These supporters claim that diversity benefits at all of the nation’s colleges and universities are included in the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection, which forbids government from making decisions that are based on classifications of a racial nature.
The justices voted 4 to 3, upholding the university’s policy, with Justice Anthony Kennedy writing the majority decision. He stated that considering race was something that met the court’s prior narrow precedents. Gregory L. Fenves, President of The University of Texas at Austin, praised the court’s ruling, stating that the educational benefits of diversity help to enhance the university, nation, and higher education community itself.
This case was brought before the court by Abigail Fisher, who was denied admission to University of Texas. In a statement, Fisher stated that she was disappointed by the court’s ruling because to her, it means that students can be treated different because of their race or ethnicity.
The admissions system used by this university is unique, as all of the top students in the state’s high schools are guaranteed to be accepted. There is already an overwhelming amount of diversity because many high schools in the state of Texas already have a large population of Hispanic and African American students,. However, administrators have long said that it’s important to consider race to ensure what they feel is an amount of diversity that is crucial to creating a learning environment that will benefit every student.
It is difficult to say whether the policy really is necessary to continue sustaining a racially diverse student body at The University of Texas without seeing some data about how removing the policy would change the environment. What do you think?
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