Causes

Does affirmative action matter anymore on college campuses? New data says ‘yes’

Does affirmative action matter anymore on college campuses? New data says ‘yes’

LatinaLista — The debate over affirmative action in college admissions has been as devisive as the ones currently over immigration reform, healthcare reform or tax reform. The key word is 'reform.' Affirmative action has always been about reforming the status quo and giving a greater variety of students access to higher education.

[caption id="attachment_20865" align="alignleft" width="300"] The University of Texas at Austin is said to be one of the most diverse college campuses in the nation.[/caption]

Over the years, students who belonged to the majority on campuses (read Anglo) didn't appreciate such a directive when they lost out on admission to a favorite university because of the policy. This week, the Supreme Court will hear yet another challenge to affirmative action when they reside over Fisher v. University of Texas.

The ultimate question facing the Supreme Court is if it's time to end affirmative action. Though the policy has undoubtedly disrupted the plans of some students who had their hearts set on attending a particular university, it's important to gauge the true effectiveness of the policy by examining the broader issue of whether or not it's made a difference on those campuses that use it, to some degree, when considering students.

A new study by the Civil Rights Project, that compares the University of California, which has a ban on affirmative action, and the University of Texas, believes they have found the answer.

The Salience of Racial Isolation: African Americans’ and Latinos’ Perception of Climate and Enrollment Choices with and without Proposition 209 found that at the University of California underrepresented students of color feel less respected than at peer research universities.

At the University of California, for instance, only 62% of African Americans feel that students of their race are respected on campus, a significantly lower figure than African Americans at UT Austin (72%) and at two other private peer universities (75% and 76%). Similarly, 77% of Latinos at UC feel that students of their ethnicity are respected on campus, compared to Latinos at UT Austin (90%) and Latinos at two other peer universities (80% and 90%).

The study found that when there were healthy levels of racial and ethnic diversity on campus both Latinos and African Americans felt equally respected by their peers. The study concluded by showing that after the affirmative action ban went into effect less students of color applied.

“Opponents of affirmative action argue that highly talented students of color would be more comfortable on campus and more eager to come to schools where the ‘stigma’ of affirmative action has been removed. The data in this study indicates that those claims are simply incorrect," said Professor Gary Orfield, Civil Rights Project Co-Director. "Students who have choices feel more welcome and chose to enroll in campuses that positively pursue diversity.”

View Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Poor Minority High Schools Lack Student Media |

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Causes

ciudad bolivar

Crowdfunder: Bringing early childhood education to the urban slums of Colombia

Latina ListaApril 22, 2015
okzyzydsbv7zabai8awd

Crowdfunder: Chicago Public School Needs Videographer

Latina ListaApril 21, 2015
10486385_1528223430749275_79849754496224004_o

Crowdfunder: Backpacks for the Homeless

Latina ListaApril 20, 2015
CCqF5-dUMAEkm4y.jpg-large

Spanish protesters create inventive way to bypass restrictive new “gag” laws with first-ever hologram protest

Latina ListaApril 16, 2015
Lalo

Crowdfunder: Syndicated Latino cartoonist to teach craft to students of Pine Ridge Reservation

Latina ListaApril 16, 2015
1f0252c8c9ab73181432e5a22c769936_original

Crowdfunder: Bringing computer skills to the developing world

Latina ListaApril 15, 2015
ukginqdnkfz8kredh00t

Crowdfunder: Giving prisoners a voice in reforming prisons

Latina ListaApril 14, 2015
cs2yz4gizf0zo8zuymt6

Crowdfunder: Helping people with lung-related diseases breathe easier in El Salvador and Guatemala

Latina ListaApril 13, 2015
11034245_10153634546423625_3219396475344091567_n

Crowdfunded: Send struggling Latino film student to Cannes

Latina ListaApril 10, 2015