Olivia M. Michigan

Affirmative action

Affirmative action gives people a false sense of diversity. In an attempt to achieve equality, universities have only created more unfair circumstances for those applying and attending their schools. I refuse to stand in the shadows and watch this continue to take place. That is why I have decided to present this topic to you and hope it opens your eyes to the corruption that lies within the use of affirmative action.

Dear Mr./Mrs. President,

Growing up I’ve been told that with good grades and a good attitude, you’ll be guaranteed a spot in the colleges you apply for (As long as you meet their criteria of course). But what they don't tell you is that despite the straight A’s or hours of community service you may have, they’ll overlook those things if your race is not what they consider diverse enough. To them, making their college appear to be “diverse” and “well rounded” is more important than actually achieving equality by accepting those that have more of the things required to attend the school (Higher Gpa’s, SAT scores, Extracurriculars etc.). Affirmative action has been a key factor aspect of the American education system for many years and has been addressed numerous times but always seems to seep between the systems many corrupt cracks. Race should not be factor in the admission process of getting into colleges.

Many colleges have had issues concerning their use of affirmative action, most likely because it limits equality. Let's take a look at how University of Michigan, one of America's well known colleges, has handled this issue within their own students. Although there have been many cases fighting for and against its usage in the admission stage of getting into the University of Michigan, it was ultimately banned under proposal 2 in late December of 2006. Those that supported the use of affirmative action argued that by taking race into consideration when accepting students, they are able to create a more diverse learning environment for those attending their school. What makes them believe that they are qualified to determine what amount of each race is needed in order for their campus to be considered diverse enough? They’re willing to crush the dreams of young, qualified applicants that aren't of a minority simply because their ethnic backgrounds aren't what the school has deemed fit to achieve “diversity”. I refuse to stand here and watch young Americans be stripped of their equality.

As a mixed child, of Black and White background, I wonder where I would lie in this diversity spectrum. Say that I was to apply to the University of Michigan at the same time as another student that happens to be a white female. We both share the same Gpa and Sat score. Would I be accepted over her simply because I have some African American background? Would they overlook my other racial qualities and focus on what they find beneficial for them and their pursuit towards a “diverse” campus? I am proud of and want to embrace ALL of the aspects of my race. I’d find anyone turning a blind eye to either of those things highly offense. I can only imagine how those that are denied acceptance feel. They may have worked just as hard and met all of the same criteria as the other students but since those other students were of racial minority's, they were seen as more desirable. They are attempting to ensure equality in an unequal way. When you deny one student but accept another because of their race, you’re letting their race limit their abilities. Since when is it okay to prioritize human beings according to their race? The answer to that question is never.

Those supporting Affirmative action are missing the big picture. Race shouldn't even be a factor when deciding which students are granted college acceptance, a student's academic performance should be. Students applying should not be required to provide their ethnicity on their applications. That would eliminate the use of affirmative action in colleges. It would force colleges to focus solely on what really matters, their applicants academic performance and achievements. If colleges want to obtain that information (race/ethnicity) for research and documentary reasons, they can do so after the marking periods have started and students have already been accepted. This would ensure students are being treated and viewed equally while still giving colleges the ability to document their progress. Some may say that colleges won't be able to control their campuses diversely, but is that really something that should be critically controlled? Students should be comfortable amongst their peers without knowing that race has been a factor in who their college has chosen them to be surrounded by.

The color of my skin should not determine anything in my educational journey. I wish not to be seen as a chance to “achieve diversity” but as a hardworking student who has met the requirements I have been presented. Affirmative action should not continue to creep into America's education system any longer.