A large number of Asian-American groups have issued a joint complaint against Harvard University on Friday. They claim that the admission policies of ivy-league universities include specific racial quotas so that the final class be ethnically diverse, but in predefined proportions. They argue that this is unfair towards them, as admission should be based on results, not race.
They claim that there have been very many cases along the years where Asian-American students who met the criteria demanded by Harvard University and even surpassed them and who were not ultimately admitted.
They had nearly perfect SAT scores, top 1% GPA and a long list of recognitions for leadership quality demonstrated in a wide variety of extracurricular activities. If you consider these facts regardless of the race of the candidate, then it does not make sense that such a candidate would not be admitted.
And here is where the problem begins. If a candidate with these results is white, then there are very few things that could ruin such a perfect track record and lead to rejection. However, if the candidate is Asian-American, he will be compared to the other Asian-Americans applicants, and from all of them, only a certain proportion will receive admission.
This is where the complaint comes in, because it is not fair that students with better qualifications be rejected, simply because the limit of Asians allowed in a class was exceeded, while white students, with lower qualifications be admitted simply because a far larger number of white students is deemed appropriate to be included in the perfect diverse class.
Furthermore, this is exactly how the Asian student stereotype was generated. It’s basic math. If all the Asian students are allowed to compete only among themselves for a mere 15-20% of the spots, then they also have to be much more competitive so as to get admitted.
This is how it has gotten to the point where Asians are considered “nerds” simply because they face an exceedingly fiercer competition than their white colleagues do. And it all comes down to priorities from there. If they want a future at an ivy league school, then they will have to put in a lot more work.
“It is well known that Asian-American (college) applicants have to score higher points than white students to be considered for admission”, said Swann Lee, the Boston Forward Foundation president and one of the people who have filed the complaint.
However, Harvard general counsel Robert Iuliano clearly explained that the university will fight for their right to chose a class “diverse on multiple dimensions” because they strongly believe that this brings on a multitude of benefits for the education of the students.
Moreover, the representatives of the university have pointed out that the number of Asian-American students that they have admitted has increased in the last ten years from 17.6% up to 21%.
And while this undoubtedly constitutes a progress for this minority, it is so simply because 21% means that they are now allowed more places in Harvard’s perfectly varied class then before. Therefor, more Asians can get in, but it does not mean that it is fair in any way.
The groups that filed this complaint were comprised of Chinese, Pakistani, Indian, Korean and many more minorities that are currently being discriminated against because of the color of their skin. These students do not manage to get into the best universities, despite the fact that they have the best scores.
A fair situation would be that some Harvard classes be diverse in the sense that they have an Asian-American majority and white minority and if the scores and qualifications dictate it, some other classes have a white majority.
This is because ivy league universities should have the best student possible, not the best students from every designated category.
Harvard officials defend their actions by saying that an applicant’s scores is not all that defines the decision. But this affirmation actually has a racist connotation. Because of the “nerd” stereotype attributed to Asian Americans, they are generally believed to be uninteresting robotic-like people.
Therefore, it is quite easy to believe that a white applicant might win in charisma what he has not made up in scores and qualifications. Truthfully, the situation is not at all so. The Asians who apply to Harvard have worked harder than others, but this does not mean they have nothing to say, that they are not as charming and witty as any given white candidate.
It remains to be seen if this complaint will manage to bring any justice to the admission battle from ivy-league schools. Hopefully, in the future, after many other complaints have been issued, the stereotypical diverse class will be comprised of a majority that has the best qualifications, not the right skin color.
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