Affirmative action brings needed diversity to schools

Giulia Imholte, Online Editor-in-Chief

When I began the college process, I came to the decision that, after attending Catholic grade school and high school, I did not want to enroll for another four years at a heavily Catholic college. The education I have received thus far has been more than adequate, but as I move on into higher education, I want to be surrounded by new ideas, new religions, new backgrounds, new stories. It’s highly unlikely that such an environment could be created without affirmative action.

In 2003, during the Grutter v. Bollinger case, the Supreme Court ruled that affirmative action can be used in the college admissions process as a means to create a more socially and racially diverse matriculating class; however, it cannot be used as an overriding factor in admissions decisions. Because I agree with this ruling, I believe that affirmative action is essential to create and maintain diversity in a college environment.

Now, the necessity of affirmative action is being called into question in the case Fisher v. University of Texas, which was first heard by the Supreme Court on October 10, 2012. However, when the original ruling was written, justices said that affirmative action would be a part of the college process for at least a quarter century.

Colleges are not yet to the point where they can accurately create a multi-faceted student body without taking a student’s diversity into consideration. And contrary to popular knowledge, affirmative action not only involves a student’s race, but also their gender, sexual orientation, national origin, and religion.

Affirmative action is a way to continue offering equal opportunities to all college applicants. In the end, affirmative action brings diversity to college campuses. The backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations of students provide a well-rounded and varied college class.