Clark Involved in Amicus Brief Regarding Race-Conscious College Admissions – The Scarlet | Tech US News

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Clark University is one of “thirty-three private, highly selective residential colleges” represented in amicus brief for two recent controversial US Supreme Court cases regarding college admissions. In these parallel cases filed by Students for Fair Admissions Inc. (SFFA), accused Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill of using race as a discriminatory factor in admissions, citing Harvard’s treatment of Asian-American applicants as an example. .

As a public university, UNC is bound by the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, as well as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which Harvard is also bound by. SFFA argues that affirmative action policies violate these protections.

Patrick Strawbridge, an attorney for the SFFA, said their objection was “a consideration of race and race itself,” describing how writing an essay on overcoming racial discrimination is different from simply checking a box for race, something that liberal judges on the Emphasized Court is never the only deciding factor.

The precedent set by the court in Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) decision allows race to be taken into account in admissions if necessary in the interest of diversity, if considered among other factors, including performance standards such as GPA. SFFA claimed that Grutter should be overturned, in part because “neither Harvard nor UNC considers it in any case.”

Cameron Norris, another SFFA attorney, argued that racial diversity is “not a compelling interest” to justify considering race in Harvard’s admissions process. The need for racial consideration is also addressed in the case against UNC, which questions whether a policy change that could change the composition of the student body would result in “sacrifice the academic quality or educational benefits of the overall diversity of the student body. ”

The court’s conservative majority seemed to think this point casts a lot of doubt on the question, with Justice Clarence Thomas asking for examples of the “educational benefits” of diversity, a concept he believes “seems to mean all things to all people. . ”

The benefits of diversity were discussed in the amicus brief cited in Clark, as well as in one invested by “some of the most successful science and technology companies in America,” including LinkedIn, Mastercard, Shell and Verizon. The companies explain that a diverse workforce optimizes the success of STEM disciplines, which is an important step in “winning in an increasingly competitive global economy.”

They cite the importance of a diverse group of students able to enter the workforce, defining “diversity” as not just racial diversity, but “for example, people of different genders, people of different nationalities, heterosexual and LGBTQ+ people, people with and without disabilities, and people with different religious beliefs.”

The faculty group’s amicus brief points out that diverse educational environments improve problem-solving, critical thinking, interpersonal and leadership skills for their students, benefiting “not only educational institutions, but society as a whole.”

It also provides defense against Grutter, which condemns the idea that the precedent has resulted in “significant adverse consequences.” The guidelines provided describe what practices would be discriminatory, as well as what characteristics would be present in a fair program. All colleges “consider qualified applicants holistically” and operate within the framework Grutter a precedent for diversifying their student body.

Although a ruling is not likely to be issued until June, the skepticism of the court’s conservative majority suggests that Grutter will likely be overturned, with race-based admissions programs outlawed.

That would be a change from Fisher v. University of Texas (2016), the most recent case involving race-conscious admissions to uphold their legality. The schools in question, as well as those in amicus briefs, said that without admissions programs that can take race into account, they will struggle to maintain the diversity they have been able to cultivate.

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