Editor in Chief
Affirmative action, the active effort to improve opportunities for minority groups, has upset people for years, especially in education, but it is necessary to some extent. Racial privilege is easily forgotten when the clamor for solely merit-based college admissions arises, but it undeniably exists and pervades America.
No, this advantage does not exist because any one ethnicity is naturally more intelligent than another — it exists because of stereotypes, societal expectations, peer and teacher treatment of students and so on. As much as we might hate to admit it, our perception of others is subtly affected by their ethnicity, try as we might to eliminate any sort of bias. The underlying assumptions we make and the concepts about race society has driven into our minds are hard to forget, and these shifts in thinking create the aforementioned privilege through how much teachers pressure certain students to succeed, varying levels of acceptance of mediocrity and expectations of higher or lower performance.
Why, then, would we wish to engage in affirmative action when it perhaps further separates people based on race or ethnicity? Consideration of ethnicity in college admissions is crucial for this precise reason: the recognition of disparity. When college demographics are widely disproportionate, something is clearly wrong; the fact that an issue resides within society and entire groups of people rather than within individuals becomes apparent.
Though affirmative action laws are far from perfect and have aspects such as racial quotas that could very well be counterproductive, they are at least a step in the right direction in establishing greater equity.
KRISTIE SHAM ASB President For those who know me personally, or those who have had …