Sunday, March 14, 2004

Coerced Virtue

From The Crimson:

"Harvard Business School has dropped a rule barring white and Asian students from a summer program after two groups opposed to race-based admissions threatened to take legal action against Harvard.

The Summer Venture in Management Program (SVMP)—which brings incoming college seniors to Allston for a week in June to study under Business School faculty—will no longer restrict participation to racial and ethnic minorities.

The American Civil Rights Institute and the Center for Equal Opportunity alleged in a letter to Harvard officials last March that the Business School program’s race-based restriction violated Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits recipients of federal funds from discriminating on the basis of race or national origin."

Check out the admissions director's sudden enlightenment:

"Business School admissions officer Juan F. Jimenez, who is in charge of the SVMP, said that dropping the race criterion would strengthen the 20 year-old program. 'It will broaden the base of what diversity stands for,' he said."

What a revelation! It's like these admissions people know what the right thing to do is, but they just can't resist the powerful logic of arguments like this:

"Alliah D. Agostini ’04, the only Harvard undergraduate to participate in SVMP last summer, said she was concerned that the program could be diverted from its original mission of reaching out to minority groups.

She said that socioeconomically disadvantaged students did not face the same obstacles as members of racial and ethnic minorities.

'While one can change [one’s] economic status, there’s no changing your race and how others may view you because of it,' Agostini wrote in an e-mail to The Crimson."

I'm sure it was a comfort to the dirt-poor white and asian kids (who, say, worked 30 hours a week while in high school just to eat) to know that even the rich black and hispanic kids in the program faced hardships no poor kid (even of another minority) will ever be able to comprehend.

Thank goodness someone thought differently. (from How Appealing)

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