Wednesday’s affirmative action rally demonstrated all that is wrong with BAMN
To the Daily:
The affirmative action rally on Wednesday, Oct. 30, showed everything that is wrong with the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary. I myself am a staunch supporter of affirmative action and find that they have misrepresented its true spirit. I think quite possibly the most dangerous thing that BAMN has done is that it has created an atmosphere on campus that thinks of affirmative action as a black/white issue that only applies to our admissions process. Not only does this marginalize every other underrepresented minority here on campus (Latinos, Native Americans, etc.), it also undercuts the importance of affirmative action across our nation. The line that BAMN has drawn is probably unintentional, but its impact has been enormous. As soon as Affirmative Action is mentioned students here make a connection between being Black and our admissions policy.
First off, Affirmative Action is so much more than that. The number one benefactor of affirmative action across our country has nothing to do with having African descent. White women by far benefit the most from Affirmative Action policies. Secondly, there are many other groups outside of an underrepresented race that get “extra-points”, if you will, in our admissions policy, but again thanks to the black/white line that BAMN has helped to create, these are almost never mentioned.
You get the same amount for having a lower socio-economic class and you get some for living in an underrepresented county in Michigan. The thing that most fail to realize is legacy and provost discretion are subtle yet incredible privileges for those who can receive it. Typically the people who receive these points are not underrepresented minorities and are usually white men. They are people who have traditionally had the opportunity to go to college.
My biggest problem with the rally held on Wednesday came from when I walked across campus and heard one of the high school students ask another, “What is the rally for anyway?” The response was, “I don’t know, but we get to miss class.” My first question was, “How come these students are not in class?” Then I realized how the bussing in of hundreds of black high school students to this rally not only plays right into the stereotype that only people of African descent want affirmative action, but also again shows the racial line that BAMN has decided to draw here on our campus.
Defeat student political apathy: Vote no on Prop. 4
To the Daily:
Now is the time for students to vote!
Students make up the most apathetic sector of the voting population. Many experts agree that this is due in large part to a feeling among students that government doesn’t affect us.
This year (on Nov. 5) government will drastically affect students. This year’s ballot includes a proposal called Proposal 4.
If Proposal 4 passes, the Citizens Research Council reports that universities will need to increase tuition by at least 20 percent. Additionally, approval of Proposal 4 will result in the loss of the Michigan Merit Award Program, which in turn means a loss of more than $100 million in student aid. Proposal 4 will also cause the indirect loss of another $100 million in general financial aid offered directly by the state’s universities.
The bad news is that the polls indicate Proposal 4 will pass if only “likely voters” show up to cast their ballots. “Likely voters” is political code for senior citizens and some middle-aged voters, not students.
If we show up to the polls we will defeat Proposal 4. Vote no on Proposal 4.
Hrant P. Hratchian The author is the Chair of the Association of Michigan Universities and a student at Wayne State.