But when it came to explaining away the disparities in the personal rating, Harvard presented years of data showing that Asian-American applicants, despite superior academic and extracurricular ratings, uniformly received worse recommendations from their teachers and guidance counselors. On the second-to-last day of the trial, Mortara went through a litany of stereotypes about Asian applicants — one-dimensional, future doctors, children of mathematicians and engineers. “Race-conscious admissions for me meant acknowledging the full human dignity of … He asked David Card, an economist testifying for Harvard as an expert witness, if he was aware that they were, indeed, stereotypes. “Alex cares so much about his schoolwork, and we just supported him. Alex was a bright and self-motivated student, someone whom Su “never had to worry about.” In the eighth grade, he came home and asked his parents if he could take the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT), the multiple-choice examination that determines entry into the city’s top public high schools. The Asian student receives a 1,370.

Some clarity, however dim, can be found in Plaintiff’s Exhibit 555 from the trial: “Ethnicity was only considered a ‘plus’ when the applicant wrote about or indicated the significance of his or her heritage, or when there was some other indicia in the file of the applicant’s involvement with ethnic community organizations or groups.”, This passage comes from the 1990 report on Harvard’s admissions practices filed by the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education. My understanding of him had changed, too. Sally and Thang were the de facto counterexamples in the trial. Berkeley. He hadn’t been sleeping well, and his left eye had exploded into a deep, concerning shade of red. In the parlance of his office, he was a “first-generation college student” from an “economically disadvantaged” background, as well as a star hockey goalie. office, never deviated from what Harvard has consistently said: We have a complicated and in-depth process that involves dozens of people and hundreds of hours, and there’s no way to quantify it. Several students read passages from University and Crimson archives, including letters penned by activists dating back to 1985. Among them are colleges and universities.”. While quietly searing his steak on the tabletop grill, he said: “I don’t want to defend Harvard. “This is not about conservatives or Republicans.

Choking back tears, he said, “Of that I’m confident.” And while I might have been surprised by the outpouring of emotion and skeptical of his methods, I did not doubt Mortara’s sincerity either. “Sparse country” is the term Harvard uses to describe the geographic areas of the United States that are underrepresented in the student body. As they stretched, they joked about being out of shape and complained about the 1 train service up to the Bronx. Edward Blum, Delmar Fears and Yukong Zhao may not agree on much of anything, but they all have made versions of an argument that the spirit of affirmative action has been replaced by a largely cosmetic, overly simplified diversity that allows elite institutions to report gains in black and Latino student populations without having to engage in the harder work of undoing systemic inequality.

“And I wish that it didn’t mean that my work didn’t count in the same way as other people’s work.”. When Harvard went looking for a South Dakotan, did it just look for a white kid who grew up on a ranch and worked the concession stands at the Corn Palace? Zhao, who became an American citizen in 2009, began his transition from writer to activist in October 2013, when Jimmy Kimmel put together a round table of young children for his late-night show and asked them what the United States should do about its $1.3 trillion debt to China. Blum would not be taking the stand in the Harvard case. Sally Chen - Design, code, photography @ Brown University.

This justification exposed one of the puzzling contradictions at the heart of this case: By law, Harvard cannot have a quota system. In September 2017, Delmar Fears, a 19-year-old junior at Cornell, walked up to the office of President Martha E. Pollack. People on Harvard’s side testified about Thang’s essay, emphasizing his divulgence that he placed a pencil between his teeth while practicing his pronunciation because he heard that was the quickest way to overcome the steep learning curve that separates a tonal language like Vietnamese from English. In the 28 years since then, the personal essay has become an even larger part of how Harvard makes its race-conscious decisions, so much so that in a draft of instructions sent out last year, the admissions office specified that “the consideration of race or ethnicity should be in connection with the application’s discussion of the effect an applicant’s race or ethnicity has had on the applicant, not simply the fact alone.”. By 2017, black and Hispanic students had dropped to just 4 percent; Asians, by contrast, were now 74 percent of the student body. Sally Chen ’19 spoke about her thesis advisor, Assistant History Professor Genevieve A. Clutario, praising Clutario’s course HIST 1013: “Introduction to Asian American History” specifically.

We and our partners will store and/or access information on your device through the use of cookies and similar technologies, to display personalised ads and content, for ad and content measurement, audience insights and product development. These experiences led me to my current position at Chinese for Affirmative Action, a 50-year-old civil rights organization that advocates for systemic change that protects immigrant rights, promotes language diversity, and remedies racial and social injustice. This presented something of a problem for the defense because every bit of mail, every spreadsheet, every memo or communiqué issued by the Harvard College admissions office since the Nixon administration reflected on Fitzsimmons’s office. In 1990, according to a lengthy study by Dana Y. Takagi, a professor at U.C. Harvard purchases scores from the College Board and mails invitations to apply to students with strong scores relative to their demographic group, whatever that might be. I remember even back then that this was an issue,” Douglas H. Chin ’88 said. But during the trial, Harvard’s attorneys intimated that she would not have gotten into Harvard without her personal qualities, calling her admission “a wonderful example of the consideration of an application by a group of people who ultimately came to the correct decision and admitted Ms. Chen. Jeannie Park ’83, a Coalition member and president of the Harvard Asian American Alumni Alliance, said she hoped that holding the event at the same time as the alumni conference would encourage alumni to help publicize the need for a formalized ethnic studies program. Karnes adheres to the same misconception about Asian-Americans which has plagued them since intelligent people began to recognize and repudiate the savagery of official discrimination. The spiritual language of affirmative action — to remedy the nation’s sins and to help underprivileged minorities who had been the victims of generational oppression — fell out of the legal conversation around affirmative action, mostly because any talk of “giving a leg up” to a certain number of students sounded too much like a quota system. But he noted “substantial statistical evidence” that Asian-Americans faced “higher hurdles than academically less qualified candidates of other races,” and he added that “rejection of such applicants ironically appears to be driven by the universities’ ‘affirmative-action’ policies aimed at favoring other, preferred racial minorities.” In this formulation, Asian students were being pitted against other minority groups for scarce, precious opportunities.

It was hard to know what to make of this declaration, but I never doubted that he believed it. Waters’s question from 2004 has largely gone unaddressed: If you stop random supporters of affirmative action on the street and ask why they believe in it, they will most likely discuss the need to address the harms of historic, institutional racism. But if Harvard loses in the Supreme Court, Blum will be closer to his goal of eliminating racial preferences, not only in college admissions but also in every other corner of federal law. This past February, a workshop on the subject of race was offered to middle-school parents; it was run by the Center for Racial Justice in Education, a training organization. Thirty years after Reynolds’s speech, Students for Fair Admissions revisited the 1988 playbook and filed its lawsuit against Harvard, claiming that its admissions process had discriminated against Asian applicants. To enable Verizon Media and our partners to process your personal data select 'I agree', or select 'Manage settings' for more information and to manage your choices. At least I could trust that.”. The organizers had promised “thousands” of demonstrators who would be rallying in favor of S.F.F.A.’s lawsuit. “Look, I support Harvard’s right to pursue the diversity they want,” said one Asian-American who described herself as a “staunch supporter of affirmative action.” “But of course they discriminate against Asian kids.”, On the first day of the trial for Students for Fair Admissions (S.F.F.A.)

When Qiao was 18, his father moved to Flushing, Queens, where he found construction work and began saving up money.

At Stuyvesant, regarded as the most prestigious of the three specialized high schools, black and Hispanic students made up roughly 14 percent of the student population in 1976; Asians accounted for 16 percent. Cornell must work to actively support students whose families have been impacted for generations by white supremacy and American fascism.”, Fears and her group received weeks of blowback from conservative websites, and Black Students United later said it regretted the wording of its statement. And so I saw in Alex the stereotype of the Asian grade-grubbing machine. This could easily have been seen as a shot at S.F.F.A.’s cross-examining lawyers, who were all white. For the past four decades, these types of decisions have been the purview of William R. Fitzsimmons, a graduate of the class of 1967 and Harvard College’s dean of admissions. The array of amicus speakers gave breathless testimony about the dangers of gaslighting and the crippling self-doubt that comes with being told that your feelings of alienation and racial othering are all imagined or not worthy of concern.

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