[guest post by Dana]
Speaking volumes. 2015 Grads Of Columbia University:
Speaking of Asians and universities, an Asian-American group is accusing Harvard of discrimination :
In a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education and the Justice Department on Friday, the coalition of more than 60 groups claims that the university unfairly holds Asian-American applicants to a higher standard. Asian-Americans have the lowest acceptance rates at Harvard University and other elite universities, the complaint alleges, despite having some of the highest test scores and overall academic achievement.
“People from all over the world came to America for equal opportunities. We are trying to bring those principles back to America,” said Yukong Zhao, a Chinese-American author who helped organize the coalition. “This isn’t just about discrimination and race. It is about justice for everyone, including (people of) all races, and social and economic statuses.”
Harvard denies the accusations, claiming to be “fully compliant with the law.”
In an effort to maintain a diverse student body, the university uses a “holistic” approach to admissions, which includes reviewing the race of the applicant.
It is this “holistic” approach that is at the heart of the complaint:
In this approach, Harvard says it reviews each applicant’s background and personal characteristics, including — when relevant — the applicant’s race or ethnicity, as one of the many factors in its admissions process.
Chunyan Li, an assistant professor of accounting at Pace University who helped recruit groups to join last the complaint, said the university’s emphasis on race in the application process is unfair.
“This approach is subjective,” Li said. “If it is all implemented objectively, than how come all Asians on average have such higher scores? What’s the fairness in this? If (Harvard) pushes for (a) holistic approach, then make it fair. If you kept emphasizing race, then there is no way out.”
As the complaint moves forward, Harvard is standing by its approach to admissions:
“We will vigorously defend the right of Harvard, and other universities, to continue to seek the educational benefits that come from a class that is diverse on multiple dimensions,”