Affirmative Action

<p>I'm interested in what people in a college forum think about Affirmative Action.</p>

<p>There was a topic similar to this in the old one but that one closed so I'm starting it up again.</p>

<p>Are you guys for or against it. Why?</p>

<p>against it b/c it doesnt work... for ex. if there are two african american students.... one that is disad and has low grades while the other has higher grades, the one with the higher grades will get in over the disad... there goes the whole point... also, hisp/na/af am will get in with lower grades even if theyre not disadv... so im against it... but thats just my opinion</p>

<p>I agree. There are kids who are "African American" or "Native American" or whatever that go to my school district, have parents who live in nice suburbs, and take as many AP and SAT/ACT classes as I do, and just because of the color of their skin, they have a better chance of getting into some colleges than I do. Also, white kids who go to inner-city public schools are at the biggest disadvantage.</p>

<p>Also, what's to keep me from lying about my heritage? I don't look black, but who are you to say I'm not?</p>

<p>I believe affirmative action should be based on income, not race. That way, it is a measurable criterium that no one can lie about and cannot be considered racist or sexist or anything like that. To me, it seems most fair.</p>

<p>I typically stay away from topics like this, but I'll address it this time. I am a believer in affirmative action for a few reasons. I will say right now that I'm an African American male. I will also say that this is a United States issue. I feel that my ancestors were not given an adequate chance at succeeding because of slavery, Jim Crow, prejudices, and racism. Many of my ancestors did not receive the opportunity that Caucasian individuals received because of the color of their skin. This progressed to my grandparents and parents and even now. These things still exist. Because my ancestors could not receive the education that they should have received, my great grandparents did not have the headstart that many Caucasian individuals had. This continued to my grandparents, to my parents, and even me. Affirmative action basically levels the field in a way. Schools are not taking unqualified people, and giving them admission. They are taking those that they feel are capable, which is what affirmative action states. If the school admits someone that they do not feel can succeed, that would not be affirmative action. I feel that I am qualified, and I am capable of attending the top schools in the nation. Affirmative action is helpful to me similar to being 1st generation is helpful to someone or being a female and applying to MIT/Cal Tech/other schools is. These people are qualified, and the colleges are giving these individuals an opportunity in order to maintain diversity at their colleges. This is my opinion.</p>

<p>Affirmative action is supposed to "help out" minorities, but what about Asians?</p>

<p>Sometimes, we're treated as minorities; sometimes not. What's up with that?</p>

<p>But to me, that's not the major issue. Why should race even be a factor in admissions? What does it have to do with your raw performance? Nothing.</p>

<p>Someone who graduated from my school last year went to Harvard. He had ok grades (but not amazing), a 1400 SAT and nothing particularly fascinating EC wise: he swam but he wasn't super-awesome or anything. Oh, and he put down on his application that he was black because he was born in South Africa. He was accepted in favor of my friend's brother, who had a 1500 SAT, 34 ACT, extremely good ECs (very focused in theater and had a job he worked at a lot), and an extremely good average. Oh, and his essay was apparently really good too. He was a white male. Many other similar white applicants were rejected.</p>

<p>I dunno, but I think that's kind of lame. :/</p>

<p>i still think asians should recieve AA, they are at just as much of a disadvantage when they first come to this country as hispanics or other minorities. why should asians on a whole be not given AA just because they tend to over achieve? isnt that like not giving AA to a hispanic student with awesome grades and awesome scores because tends to over achieve?</p>

<p>and if AA is to make up for past mistakes that we may have made in the past why do hispanics recieve it? dont yell at me if im forgetting something obvious, but what are we paying them back for? and shouldnt the japanese recieve AA because they were thrown into camps during WW2, and homosexuals because of discrimination that they endured?</p>


<p>I may as well put my two cents in since everyone else is. I don’t know if I am for or against AA for the reasons that anijen21 and MDawg198 so beautifully presented. At the same time, I think that Asians are way too discriminated against in the admissions process as are poor white students. Further, I think that many (NOT ALL but many) opponents of AA are of relatively lower academic quality, on average, than their respective successful applicant counterparts. This is a touchy subject that I hope doesn’t get out of hand.</p>

<p>AA only helps out underrepresented minorities. That's why asians don't benefit.</p>

<p>I think it's funny how some of you guys assume that just because some schools believe in affirmative action that they're going to take a black person or a hispanic student first before they take a caucasian or asian. If you really think about it, it doesn't really affect a chance of someone who is white or asian to get in. The majoritiy is competing against the majority, in other words asians and caucasians are competing against asians and caucasians for that spot at the colleges. </p>

<p>At some schools that have affirmative action, the student body URM(blacks and hispanics) make equal to or less than 10 percent of the student body and thats that 10 percent includes all undergrads and grad students, not just freshmen. In my opinon that's not alot! </p>

<p>There's a reason why some schools support affirmative action. Without affirmative action you lose cultural diversity in a school, something that schools are always looking to enhance. In the point that "smackedk" pointed out, my explanations is: how many 1400+ sat scoring african americans do you see on a normal basis? Not a lot! However you do see a lot of asians and caucasians scoring 1400+. There are many applicants like your friend's white male brother applying to Harvard. </p>

<p>Basically not alot of URM students apply to college, so in a sense if a school wants diversity they're going to obvisously have to accept them just to get that diversity in their school!</p>

<p>I personally both sides of the argument. But if I had to choose as to if I support it, I would because there are a lot more arguments to have affirmative action.</p>

<p>we need diversity of experience and viewpoint, not diversity of intelligence. first and foremost, colleges should focus on enrolling a class of motivated, intelligent, and interesting people and then worry about what culture they're from. in certain cases it is very important to get those URMs; in other cases, it's a bit ridiculous.</p>

<p>Diversity is overrated.</p>

<p>My point was that he wasn't even really black; he was just born in South Africa. That's like me going to Ethiopia to have my kid and then saying he's Ethiopian.</p>

<p>I was simply pointing out one of the loopholes in this system; in this case, a white guy with scores way lower than another white guy got into Harvard because of a loophole. =`></p>

<p>What I mean to say is that just because people have different skin colors does not automatically mean that a school is diverse. I mean, a white student who spent his whole life in China and can speak fluent chinese... will probably bring more to a school in terms of diversity than a black student who grew up in the surburbs.</p>

<p>If colleges want diversity, they should look at the applications to pick students with unique experiences and interests. They don't have to pick them just because of the color of their skin.</p>

<p>Secondly, MDawg, your argument run into pitfalls when you examine african immigrants. African immigrants are those who benefit from AA the most. This is because they achieve more than their counterparts. I mean... 2/3rds of black students in Harvard are immigrants, while they only constitute about 6% of the black population. By your definition, these students should not be benefiting from AA, because their ancestors did not suffer. However, they do... </p>

<p>And many other groups, like asian etc. Whose ancestors suffered, do not benefit from AA/</p>

<p>Diversity in the aspect that those of other races can provide many things that a group of people of the same race can't. There are things that a Hispanic person will encounter that people of other races won't be subjected to. It's that simple. I agree that diversity does not and should not always represent race, but often, a mixture of races can bring out the best of an environment.</p>

<p>David, affirmative action can be a variety of things. I was personally citing why I was in favor of it and how it would affect me. Many other benefit from it, but I felt it would be better to explain my point of view rather than someone else's. I understand your basic logic, but I felt it important to give my feelings in the best way that I could (and that would be by explaing the circumstances that surrounded my own life). Note: The black immigrant situation is somewhat sketchy because it's more of a circumstancial thing. Would this be an immigrant of the Sudan that had to fight just to live? In that case, I think they should benefit somewhat. And this applies to all races.</p>

<p>People often argue about those of Jewish and Asian descent, and this is why I say it's mainly a U.S. thing. Those Jewish and Asian people that immigrated to the U.S. often had the education or were able to obtain it. They had many more opportunities than Native Americans that had their land taken away, African Americans that were slaves then oppressed, etc. </p>

<p>I don't know if that gives any answers or not, but I'll try to clarify if you need it.</p>

<p>I understand what you're saying. But if the issue is that black students are underperforming then the problem can be solved by putting money into inner city areas. That way, they can alleviate the problem without discrimination.</p>

<p>I don't really understand how you answered the immigrants question. You say that if they fought for their life, then they should benefit (somewhat)... what exactly does that mean. What I'm trying to say, is that the people whom AA was designed to aid, for the reasons that you have described, are not feeling the benefits. </p>

<p>You should be careful when you say that Asians and Jewish people have suffered less than African Americans. I mean, Japanese people were interned during WW II. I could dig up countless examples of atrocities committed unto these groups. But I'd rather not... I get the feeling that a later poster might.</p>

<p>I agree, davidrune. Well put. It's strange that colleges see skin color as the best way to diversify a class when applications and essays can distinguish diverse backgrounds more effectively. Cultural differences are important--one reason I don't mind having the "race boxes"--but the adcoms should check to make sure they're not admitting a URM kid who has the same background, interests, and opportunities as a better-qualified non-URM. I think they probably DO check for the most part, though it does seem like some schools try to fill quotas.
AA also creates some problems on campuses--what URM wants to go to a school where people may be thinking in the backs of their minds, "If wonder if he got in b/c of AA?" It starts a whole new cycle of discrimination.
I don't think AA should be abolished, but it needs major improving and should not be based solely on race.</p>

<p>You know what it's kind of futile debating this issue. Because, when push comes to shove, the legacy student who disagrees with AA will check the box indicating that his father attended the school. </p>

<p>The first-generation student will be sure to tell the adcoms that he's a first generation student. And the African American student will check the box telling them that he/she is black.</p>

<p>It is difficult for 17 year old students to have a disinterested view on this opinion. Every student is looking for a way to stand out in from of the adcoms.</p>

<p>I did not mean to imply that Asian Americans did not suffer. But I will venture to say that African Americans suffered moreso than Asian Americans in the United States due to years in the U.S. in general.</p>

<p>I agree. When it comes down to it, everyone will try to stand out. It's as simple as that.</p>

<p>P.S. This (Affirmative action) leads to more questions such as: Is the SAT biased? Many researchers claim that it is (You can judge for yourself).</p>