Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Westhem: Really? Affirmative Action still a thing?

Affirmative Action was a necessity when it went into affect in 1978 after the court case regarding UC Berkeley put the practice into effect in regards to education. Now though, in 2013, I’m not so certain that it is still necessary and relevant.
            Dean Shaw though would vehemently disagree with me. I thought that it was interesting that he is such a staunch proponent of affirmative action. At Stanford, there are so many smart and accomplished students from all races and they make their talents and ability to contribute to Stanford obvious through their applications. I don’t believe that what their race is makes one student any more capable at succeeding at Stanford or better suited to studying at Stanford than a student of a different race.
            I hope that some day we’ll get to a point that race doesn’t matter, but I guess it still makes a different to colleges, even to a leading university such as Stanford.            Dean Shaw says, “It is necessary”. But why does there have to be diversity in skin color? Why is that the priority? Shouldn’t diversity in thought and opinions and character on campus be the main priority in order to better promote “intellectual vitality”?
            An on a similar note: Who cares if Stanford is predominantly made up of Californians or New Yorkers, for example? If that’s where the majority of the applicants come from, and they are strong applicants, Stanford shouldn’t be concerned with admitting too many of them, or a disproportionate amount as compared with other states. Stanford should be more concerned with letting in the best and the brightest regardless of the factors that they have no control over: skin color and where their parents chose to live.

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