The Supreme Court heard oral arguments about the constitutionality of the University of Michigan’s admissions policy Tuesday.
The Ann Arbor school is under legal fire after a number of white students who were denied admission to the school filed a class action suit against the university. They claim they were denied their equal protection rights and would have been admitted had they been minorities.
The Michigan case is the most significant civil rights case the Supreme Court has heard in the last 25 years.
Students around FAMU’s campus see the significance as well.
“It just seems like the people behind this are more concerned with keeping minority students out of college than making sure white students get in,” said Allison Tolbert, a sophomore health care management student from Charleston, S.C.
The University of Michigan’s admission program is in question because it uses a points-based system that assigns a specific value for minority status.
Johnny Graham, vice president-elect of the Hatchett Pre-Law Society and junior political science student from Gretna, Fla., said the policy should stand because the school has no alternative program for admitting minority students.
“At first I didn’t feel that the University of Michigan should be taking race and other factors into consideration,” Graham said. “But after looking into the issue, I can see how important those factors are.”
“Point blank, affirmative action and other programs around the country aimed at diversity are at stake.”
Other students on campus feel the same way.
“It’s sad that after all these years affirmative action is still an issue,” said Antony Little, a junior business student from Modesto, Calif.
Despite strong feelings about the issue, students like Little are unsure about how the decision of the court will turn out.
“It’s hard to say how the court will rule,” Little said. “With the Bush administration against the policy, it’s no telling what could happen.”
Frank Khalifa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.