"Our study found no positive relationship between increasing minority population in a university and educational experience, except in the case of Asians."
stanley rothman – director for the center for the study of social and political change at smith college

[source article]

Rothman said the study found that when the Asian university population increased, be it faculty or students, university officials reported an improvement in educational experience. However, in the case of all other minorities, the study found no benefit. Rothman did not say why Asian students had a different effect on educational experience.


Better Luck Tomorrow
limited release fri 04.11

Four Asian American high school students use their overachievement as a cover for all sorts of delinquent activity. Like Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Better Luck Tomorrow awkwardly switches from comedy to drama halfway through. Whether you find the movie thought provoking depends on whether you can accept the presence of a buried corpse in a coming-of-age movie. I couldn't. I thought the comedy part, playing off the traditional lives of Asian teenagers, was far more successful than the pulp drama.

"On Monday, the Bruin Republicans made a bold political statement on Bruin Walk, which the Daily Bruin chose to ignore. Our Affirmative Action Bake Sale was intended to drive home to students the absurdity of deciding college admissions by race through the pricing structure of the cookies we were selling. The structure per cookie was: 25 cents for black, Latina and American Indian female students; 50 cents for black, Latino and American Indian males; $1.00 for white females; and $2.00 for white males and all Asian Americans."
andrew jones – president of bruin republicans

[source article]

The "peg" was the Michigan affirmative action case placed on the Supreme Court docket.

Supreme Court hearings on affirmative action began this week which could rewrite the rules on the extent to which race can be a factor in admissions to colleges and universities.

The case was brought by three white students who challenged the University of Michigan's policy of considering race as one factor among many in the way it selects its students.

Michigan and its law school give extra credit to ethnic minority applicants, as well as to applicants from low income backgrounds and to those from underrepresented states.

The university argues that a diverse student body is a goal that benefits all students. The plaintiffs argue they were denied a place at the university because they are white.
Two sets of admissions at the university are involved — in the case of undergraduates, black, Hispanic and Native American applicants get 20 extra points out of a possible 150 points under a selection index that considers academic, test scores and other factors including race.

In the law school, the admissions process does not involve a point system, but the university seeks the enrollment of a "critical mass" of minority students, which has ranged between 10% and 17% of each class.

Affirmative action boils down to two issues: opportunity and diversity.

Proponents argue that ethnic minority applicants and applicants from low income backgrounds do not have easy access to the test prep classes and tutors and extracurricular activities usually afforded to their middle- and upper-class counterparts. Thus, the college application of an ethnic minority or low-income-background student may not reflect his or her full potential.

Moreover, proponents argue that a diverse student body benefits all students, begetting a wider range of thoughts and views for academic discussion.

I don't have a problem with the principles behind affirmative action; I have a problem with its consequences.

If a university plays favorites, will its beneficiaries appreciate its efforts and make the most of their acceptance? Or were qualified candidates rejected so that some black and Hispanic kids could skip class and get fucked up every other day?

In addition, studies show that high school students tend to associate with people of the same ethnicity or economic background. This is not a rule, but more often than not, it is the case. I don't know why people think college is some magical harmonious melting pot. In my experience, students continue to associate predominantly with people of the same ethnicity or economic background.

The Supreme Court can debate all it wants about affirmative action as an admission factor, but I think the real issue is how admitted students regard affirmative action. The law says that 21 is the legal drinking age and that marijuana is illegal. Do college students respect these laws? No. Just because the law says that affirmative action will increase academic diversity and provide academic opportunities for ethnic minorities and low-income-background students does not mean that it will necessarily happen. The success of affirmative action depends on the cooperation of affected students. Are the affirmative action beneficiaries making an effort to better themselves? Likewise, are the rest of the students making an effort to embrace and exploit the diverse student body? Laws and policies only work if their subjects accept them.

The solution is simple: let schools that employ affirmative action go on employing it but have them track the academic and social progress of their students. Statistics. If you see results, let them keep affirmative action. If you don't, make them throw it out. It can't be any simpler than that.

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