Yesterday’s much awaited U.S. Supreme Court decision
marked both the end and the beginnning of many student marches,
petitions, rallies and debates surrounding the controversial issue
of affirmative action in the University’s admissions
policies.

The split decision reflects the array of student beliefs across
campus with strong support for both sides of this issue — and
many still undecided and confused about the Supreme Court’s
decision.

The key component of the court’s split decision was the
fact that in both the College of Literature, Science and the Arts
and Law School cases race was considered to be a legitimate factor
in their admissions policies. Many University students, regardless
of their stance on the University’s current admissions system
support the idea that racial diversity is a compelling state
interest.

Mathematics doctoral candidate Jared Maruskin agreed that
diversity is important and does have an effect on students, even on
those who are unaware of it.

“I’ve had friends who have said that diversity
doesn’t really affect me, that people still stay in their
groups,” Maruskin said. “But it’s very important
even if we just see people from all sorts of cultures and
backgrounds represented here,” he continued.

Kelly Jones, a first-year graduate student in the School of
Education, agreed that certain races are specifically disadvantaged
and said that “because of the inequity that there is for
certain groups of people, there has to be some way to make up for
that.”

However, Jones and fellow students, while understanding the need
for current race-conscious policies, have concerns about
instituting a permanent affirmative action policy.

“I believe it needs to start at the grade school and high
school levels and that we shouldn’t have to do this at
college, but right now we need to,” she added.

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