Suit against Harvard alleges descrimination against Asians

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ASPartOfMe
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19 Oct 2018, 1:47 am

Harvard’s gatekeeper reveals SAT scores based on race

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Harvard University dean testified that the school has different SAT score standards for prospective students based on factors such as race and sex — but insisted that the practice isn’t discriminatory, as a trial alleging racism against Asian-American applicants began this week.

The Ivy League school was sued in 2014 by the group Students for Fair Admissions, which claims that Asian-American students, despite top-notch academic records, had the lowest admission rate among any race.

The trial began Monday, and has so far only included testimony from dean of admissions William Fitzsimmons.

He said Harvard sends recruitment letters to African-American, Native American and Hispanic high schoolers with mid-range SAT scores, around 1100 on math and verbal combined out of a possible 1600, CNN reported.

Asian-Americans only receive a recruitment letter if they score at least 250 points higher — 1350 for women, and 1380 for men.

Fitzsimmons explained a similar process for white wannabe students in states that don’t see a lot of Harvard attendees, like Montana or Nevada. Students in those states would receive a recruitment letter if they had at least a 1310 on their SATs.

“That’s race discrimination, plain and simple,” John Hughes, a lawyer for Students for Fair Admissions, challenged the dean.

“It is not,” the dean insisted. He said the school targeted certain groups in order to “break the cycle” and try to convince students to apply to Harvard who normally wouldn’t consider the school.

Fitzsimmons’ office oversees the screening process of about 40,000 applications and whittles them down to 2,000 acceptance letters that are handed out each year.


The wolf of racial bias’: the admissions lawsuit rocking Harvard
Quote:

A trial that could eventually decide the fate of affirmative action programs in the United States is playing out in Boston as a lawsuit that alleges Harvard has intentionally and systematically discriminated against Asian Americans brings the Ivy League school to court.

Supporters of the lawsuit say Harvard illegally discriminates against Asian Americans, putting a cap on the number of Asians admitted to the university and making it harder for Asian applicants to get in.

Its opponents charge that the case is not even about Asian Americans at Harvard; rather, they say it is an issue that has been co-opted by conservative activists whose real goal is ending race-conscious admissions policies that give minority students a better shot at attending universities like Harvard. Supporters on both sides charge the other with racism.

Regardless of the outcome of the three-week trial in Boston, the case is expected to eventually make its way up to the supreme court.

Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), a group headed by 66-year-old litigator Edward Blum, brought the suit. Their argument runs: across the board, Asian American Harvard applicants outperform members of other racial groups in test scores and grades. They also get higher marks in the admissions process for extracurricular activities and alumni interviews. Yet, they are assigned low marks on a vague “personal rating” that takes into account things like courage, likability, kindness and having a positive personality. They charge that Asian American students are accepted at lower rates than other candidates with similar qualifications. In short, they say the bar is set higher for Asians.

Harvard flatly denies that its admissions process involves discrimination or quotas on racial groups. The university says that race is just one of a number of factors considered – and that it is only considered as a positive factor, not a negative one.

Cheng says the suit has nothing to do with ending affirmative action and that he is not against using race as a plus factor in admissions. Instead, he said: “It’s about saying Harvard cannot set different and more difficult standards for admitting Asian students relative to students of any other ethnic group. It’s that simple – and it’s undeniable that
Opponents say that Blum, the founder and president of SFFA, is not as interested in getting more Asian American students into Harvard or other universities as he is with wiping out affirmative action policies, in line with his conservative beliefs.

Blum previously took a case against the University of Texas at Austin to the supreme court twice over affirmative action. In the case, plaintiff Abigail Fisher – who is white – claimed she was denied admission to the university because of her race. The case failed.

After the failure of the Fisher case, Blum found new targets: Harvard, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He formed websites like harvardnotfair.org, inviting students who believed they had been denied admission to the three universities based on their race to get in touch. All three websites prominently featured photos of young Asians on their homepages.

“That’s the goal of these lawsuits, is to eliminate the consideration of race or ethnicity,” he told the Houston Chinese Alliance in 2015. “So, I needed plaintiffs. I needed Asian plaintiffs.”

Ilya Shapiro, a supporter of the suit and a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington, says while the initial priority is addressing discrimination against Asian Americans at Harvard, the case could eventually result in a change to affirmative action. He acknowledges that such a change could see fewer members of other minorities attending top universities.


Persons of the wrong color?


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LoveNotHate
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19 Oct 2018, 4:19 am

Different qualification criteria based on race and somehow it's not racial discrimination ??


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Drake
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19 Oct 2018, 7:46 am

I hope they take affirmative action and burn the whole thing to the ground.

This doesn't mean you can't let people in because you think you see potential, a rough diamond, but race shouldn't be a factor in that. Whites and Asians can come from backgrounds holding them back from showing their true worth too.