In response to Courtney Stevens’ editorial (“Liberty Belle: UCLA Concocts Unfair Process of Admissions,” Daily Nexus, Oct. 3), I’d be remiss not to point out how her use of political rhetoric overshadows the more interesting issues regarding race-conscious admissions policies. To claim that liberals are the only proponents of affirmative action is not only a disservice to many liberals who would patently disagree with such governmental action, but also fails to acknowledge the viewpoints of some of Stevens’ conservative colleagues.
UCLA’s policy is an example of the sort of admissions policy ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court in the 2003 case of Grutter v. Bollinger, which held that Michigan Law School’s race-conscious admissions policy was constitutional. That case was penned by none other than Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. More evidence of conservatives doing more than merely acquiescing to the promotion of diversity is apparent in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, passed by a Republican Congress and emphatically endorsed by President Bush.
Stevens interprets UCLA’s interest in maintaining diversity on its campus as unnecessary political deception. This assertion is simply not supported by the history of race relations in this country. When de jure segregation was declared inherently unequal in Brown v. Board of Education, the subsequent remedy necessarily took race into account when school boards all across the country were forced to open their doors to nonwhite students.
Lastly, I cannot help but point out that Stevens’ article implicitly accentuates the assumption that diversity in education is beneficial only to minorities. In an increasingly global market, employers seek applicants who have been exposed to and are comfortable working with diverse workforces. Diversity in the classroom increases the likelihood for student-induced discussions concerning race issues and increases the possibility that students will socialize with students of other races. Thus, diversity is a valuable resource to all students in pursuit of becoming well-reasoned citizens in a multiracial and multiethnic world market.
Aaron Tuch, UCSB graduate class of 2005