We at The Olympian are strongly opposed to Senate Constitutional Amendment Five, a measure to restore consideration of race to California university admissions. We feel that admissions should be based purely on academics and achievements rather than race.
For more than a decade, UCs and CSUs have been banned from using affirmative action in their admissions process. In 1996, Proposition 209 was passed, which took away colleges’ ability to base admission decisions on one’s ethnicity or gender.
Then in January, the state Senate passed SCA 5. If the Assembly follows suit, California voters will reconsider permitting affirmative action in college admissions.
But considering race in college admissions just seems unfair and a little unsettling. It almost seems as if certain demographics would suffer even though they have done nothing wrong.
Many would argue affirmative action is beneficial to students. Some say that this is only a good thing for colleges and their student populations alike. True, it would bring a lot more diversity to colleges which might be a good experience for many students. Also, being able to consider race/ethnicity/gender could open some doors for students who generally don’t receive the same opportunities as others. A number of kids applying to college may never have been given the same resources as many others and this could finally give them the break they need. It definitely gives underrepresented groups a better chance at success.
Of course we want everyone to be given an equal opportunity in life, but we also don’t think it should be given at the expense of others who have worked just as hard or harder for it. It doesn’t seem entirely fair that incredibly hard-working individuals could lose their hopes and dreams because colleges want more diversity for campus life.
For the record, Prop. 209 has been in effect for over ten years now and no one has seemed to have any problems with it, and it does not seem to have any major negative effects on the college system.
Facing heavy opposition from Asian Americans, SCA 5’s supporters pulled the measure from the Assembly and for now it appears dead. We’re glad. The Olympian says equal opportunities for all means no affirmative action in college admissions.