1. Thiscase is about whether the admissions process at a University complies with the14th Amendment or if it is unconstitutional. This University usestwo methods to decide which students they enroll. The first method is the 10%Rule where students who have the highest grades in their high schools willautomatically be accepted into the University. About three-quarters of theincoming student body are enrolled utilizing this method. The second methoduses a profile of the student which considers the student’s academics andindividual performance apart from the classroom.
The individual performance ofeach student is scored based on the clubs, sports, and other qualities, likerace. Fisher, the plaintiff, applied to this university, but did not qualifyfor automatic acceptance through the 10% Rule. She had to have the Universityscore her profile. Fisher claimed that being Caucasian put her at adisadvantage because the University uses race to ensure its campus is diverse. Sheclaims that the University denied her acceptance because of her race. TheUniversity’s defense is that race is an important component in the applicationprocess when reviewing students’ profiles because it allows the admissions tocreate a diverse community. The University states that having a diverse campuswill enhance the students’ education, as it allows them to learn how to workand connect with people of different races.
This case is not specifically aboutrace, but focuses on whether the use of race in the admissions process isconstitutional. The court Justices ruled that using race as a part of theadmissions process is not a violation of the 14th Amendment. Theonly exception is that the purpose behind using race must be well defined andused for a specific purpose or goal and used for nothing more than that purpose.With this exception, the University’s policy regarding the admissions processwas unconstitutional.2. Thisis a very difficult case for me to have a strong opinion for or against aspecific side. After careful review of the case and the ruling from thejustices, I agree with the court’s decision.
I believe that diversity is animportant aspect of any University because students will learn more whensurrounded by different cultures and ideologies. Race should be used in theapplication process for schools, especially if it is utilized in this case tocreate a diverse community. However, it is important to keep in mind thatdiversity should not solely be determined by race; each person attending theUniversity has their individual experiences who also brings in new ways ofthinking. Due to this understanding of diversity, it is important to use raceminimally in the application process and for a specific, well-defined purpose.Otherwise, the University would have too much of an opportunity to accept ordeny a student enrollment based only on his or her race, which is discriminatory.Before considering race, I believe the University must look at othercharacteristics of the students’ profiles. Grades, test scores, essays,volunteer services, jobs, extracurricular events, and socioeconomic status ofthe applicant are just some of the factors that should considered before race. Ibelieve the Justices’ ruling on this case was well-thought and logical.
Usingrace in the admissions process does not violate the 14th Amendment,as long as its use is well regulated. The University in this specific case,however, did not seem to have an explicit or clear reason behind its use ofrace. Although it stated that race was used to create a diverse community oncampus, it did not have race data on the students registered using the 10%Rule. If the campus was using race solely to foster diversity, it would beconcerned about the race of the students being admitted through the 10% Rule,as well. 3. The14th Amendment states that any citizen of the United States cannotbe deprived of any right because of their race. It protects all rights,including the right to a proper education.
Although I am an Early Childhood andSpecial Education major student and this case focuses on admissions intocollege, this amendment can be applied to my discipline. It is important forteachers to provide good quality education without discrimination to all of herstudents. One example which is comparable to this case is when parents apply toa preschool for their children. Children should not be denied access topreschool just because of their race. This issue, however, affects more thanacceptance or rejection to a school. Teachers must not treat studentsdifferently if they are a different race. Students look up to teachers; many ofthem want to grow up to be just like their teacher.
If they are exposed todiscrimination of their peers, demonstrated by their teacher, they will beginto think that student is “less than” the rest of their peers and treat themdifferently. Unfortunately, I have observed this in a preschool classroom. Ihave watched teachers single out a student and, as a result, her peers tried toavoid playing with her during free time.
This kind of action will have alasting effect on the student’s self-esteem, social skills, and comfort inschools. It could limit or diminish the students’ future potential. It isimportant, as educators, to recognize and celebrate students’ differences,instead of making them feel inferior for them. In my example, it would have been beneficialfor the teacher to explore, in a positive way, the many ways that each studentis different than their peer. At an early age, if students are exposed toacceptance of diversity in others, discrimination should no longer existsbecause diversity is the norm.