Chronicle poll results: Taking race into account in admissions decisions
PollOur readers share their views

Chronicle poll results: Taking race into account in admissions decisions

We asked our readers if universities should take race into account in admissions decisions. Here's what they said.

Last week, the Chronicle asked its readers in an electronic poll the following question: “Should universities take race into account in admissions decisions?” Of the 222 people who responded, 49% said, “No”; 36% said, “Yes”; 14% said, “It depends”; and 1% said they didn’t know. Comments were submitted by 63 people. A few follow.

Race is just one factor to dictate admission status. I don’t think it’s the most crucial aspect. Income levels should dictate admissions decisions much more so.

It really should be based on the goals of the university. Diversity should a goal of all institutions of higher learning.

Admission should be purely on merit. The most qualified students should be accepted regardless of race, religion or other such factors.

Such discriminatory practices used to be used to exclude Jews. You don’t end discrimination by practicing discrimination.

Most important to look at merit, of course, and also give consideration to socioeconomic issues. And eliminate legacies who get first consideration.

Absolutely! As a beneficiary of a quota system, I heartily support all measures aimed at improving and maintaining diversity in our society.

It’s a balancing act of what needs to be done in order to correct the wrongs of the past. If we don’t, then history is bound to repeat itself.

Not under any circumstances should a check-the-box/quota system be used. I agree with U.S. Supreme Court that personal experience overcoming prejudice or similar personal circumstances should be included — as that relates to the merit of the applicant.

We still haven’t corrected historic wrongs. There is a bias in all things favoring whites. Before we can be truly color blind, we need to address historic inequality, and frame a system by which non-whites — and by the way, the poor — are given the opportunity to succeed in all fields.

Affirmative action is still racism. You can not pick and choose which racism is good racism and which is bad racism.

There’s too much systemic racism in our history that put people of color at a huge disadvantage. This helps even the playing field and gives them a chance.

Race is a human construct, often — if not mostly — used to quantify and separate human beings who have all been declared “good” by the Creator. We should stop counting, deciding, favoring, hating because of, and referring to race in all places at all times and in all things. PJC

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