GAPIMNY, alongside Asian Americans Advancing Justice and over 60 Asian American groups, filed an amicus brief on March 4, 2019 in support of race-conscious holistic admissions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). Participants in this brief whole-heartedly attest that race-conscious admissions policies result in more equitable and integrated universities and enhance the educational experiences of all students.
This amicus brief opposes the lawsuit filed by conservative activist Ed Blum and his group Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) to end race-conscious admissions at universities. In their briefing, SFFA suggest that, in addition to whites, Asian Americans are also supposedly disadvantaged by UNC’s race-conscious admissions policy.
The recent headlines have revealed rampant corruption and bribery schemes used by wealthy white families to gain admission to some of this country’s most elite universities. While this news has been disturbing, it corroborates much of what we’ve already known about white privilege and nepotism, whether it’s legacy admissions or big donor money. Yet, these institutionalized practices that unfairly tip the scales for wealthy whites go unchallenged. Instead, affirmative action that benefits mostly students of color are repeatedly challenged and opposed through lawsuits and ballot initiatives. This is plain wrong and racist.
The consideration of race in university admissions, one of many factors in the admissions process, has been critical for many schools to fully understand an applicant’s background and experiences beyond test scores.
“The data shows that these policies help all students of color, including Asian Americans,” said Dr. OiYan Poon, assistant professor of Higher Education and director of the Race & Intersectional Studies for Educational Equity (RISE Center) at Colorado State University. “Removing the consideration of race in admissions would hurt the most marginalized of AAPI students and be detrimental to the educational climate and environment, from which all students benefit.”
Race-conscious admission policies have been credited with negating the inherent racial biases of other admission factors, such as SAT/ACT scores. They are also a factor in creating more diverse student bodies on university campuses that more closely reflect regional or national demographics. Studies show that colleges and universities that reach the highest levels of diversity have fewer incidents of racial hostility. Students report having a more positive learning experience in schools with race-conscious admission processes.
“Removing the consideration of race at UNC would be a disservice to all communities of color, including the diverse AAPI subgroups in North Carolina,” said Chavi Khanna Koneru, executive director of North Carolina Asian Americans Together. “Our state is home to significant ethnic minority communities from Southeast Asia who experience varying economic and educational barriers. Saying that Asian Americans are not underrepresented minorities at UNC only obscures the needs of underrepresented Asian Americans.”
GAPIMNY stands firmly in support of UNC, race-conscious admission policies, and all students of color. We will continue to fight alongside other communities of color for greater equity and justice in this country.
Link to the amicus brief: https://www.advancingjustice-la.org/sites/default/files/Amicus-Brief-UNC.pdf