The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and Integration and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary has rightfully been the target of pointed criticism, both across campus and from this page, for its divisive and irresponsible actions. Despite these marked failings, the organization has the laudable ability to bring high-profile speakers to campus.

These connections have resulted in an impressive list of expected speakers for tomorrow’s BAMN Day of Action, ranging from student group leaders from the University and local high schools to the director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Youth and College Division, and Kim Gandy, the president of National Organization for Women. Also noteworthy is the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who has not confirmed his attendance at the rally, but is expected to be clearing out his schedule for an appearance at the University tomorrow.

The rally could not come at a better time for the University community. With the University’s victory in Grutter v. Bollinger and the result of the Center for Individual Rights’ appeal of Gratz v. Bollinger still uncertain, this rally will help increase awareness of affirmative action’s role in higher education, before the University’s cases likely head to the Supreme Court.

Along with the opportunity to garner support for the University’s admissions polices, this week’s events also allow for University students to become more active in the causes of student groups on campus. The movement will also serve to bring the community’s focus back to local issues. While students have been diverted toward the war on Iraq and other conflicts, the rally and the associated events could focus student’s concerns towards the ongoing and ever important issue of affirmative action.

While the rally is the main focus of this week’s events regarding affirmative action, there are other events to attend as well. An array of speakers and symposiums have been planed in conjunction with the campaign. These events, leading up to the rally, will hopefully draw an impressive crowd to the events tomorrow.

The issue of affirmative action is of substantial importance to the University and it would serve students well to support the student groups that encourage affirmative action through attending the events sponsored by such groups. The upcoming rally, along with its preceding activities and events, deserves to be accepted as well as encouraged by the community and its students.

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