Universities must conduct comprehensive reviews for admissions
Unfortunately, the University of California”s innovative and fair new admissions policy comprehensive review which takes into account students” personal record, including economic and educational disadvantage, has come under fire from both affirmative action opponents, who call it “back-door affirmative action,” and supporters of affirmative action who think that race should be considered in the admissions process.
Comprehensive review will achieve diversity fairly and without igniting the legal and political battles that affirmative action has. Minority populations on campuses such as Berkeley and UCLA, which decreased after Proposition 209, stand to increase under comprehensive review, even though it makes no distinction with regard to race. Because educational and economic disadvantages pose obstacles for larger percentages for minority populations, minorities stand to be the biggest winners under the new policy. Racial status is no longer an explicit factor in awarding admission only the implications race might pose in terms of societal disadvantage,are. This important new distinction will reward all students who demonstrate merit in over coming disadvantages.
Unlike affirmative action, other marginalized groups will be considered fairly. Comprehensive review also recognizes the reality that class, geography, parental level of education, and high school quality can play just as large a role in the lives of disadvantaged white students as skin color can in the lives of some minorities.
Policies like comprehensive review should have been in place far before universities” race-based admissions procedures faced litigation and other legal troubles. If universities are sincerely interested in admitting a diverse student body, they should be concerned with more than standardized test scores, grades and race. Comprehensive review possesses the holism, social idealism and individual attention lacking in most state university systems” admissions departments.
In Passing views are those of individual members of the Daily”s editorial board but do not necessarily represent the views of The Michigan Daily.