By the end of this year, the US Supreme Court is expected to decide whether or not colleges and universities can prioritize diversity through their admissions policy guidelines. The decision could pose a serious threat to campus diversity and undermine the quality of the educational experience for millions of students coast to coast.
For students, America’s diversity can be a great advantage—it enriches the educational experience and offers opportunities to collaborate and problem-solve with people from different cultural backgrounds. When we can incorporate different viewpoints and experiences into our lives and our work, we are all stronger. Diversity provides students with skills necessary to flourish in the global economy.
For the past forty years, colleges have worked hard to make sure that their doors are open to students from all backgrounds. Consequently, admissions policies that promote diversity have provided opportunities to countless numbers of college students. In 2003, the Supreme Court agreed that those efforts are critical, in a case regarding the University of Michigan Law School’s admissions policy, which promotes all forms of diversity in its student body, including racial and ethnic. In that case, the Court re-emphasized that “the nation’s future depends upon leaders trained through wide exposure to the ideas…of students as diverse as this Nation of many peoples.”
But the principles underlying that decision are now being challenged. As students head back to school this fall, the Supreme Court will weigh in on the admissions policy adopted by the University of Texas. If the Court strikes down the University’s admissions policy, the decision could negatively impact students in both Texas and across the country.
Student activists across the country are mobilizing to not let this happen. The venerable United States Students Association is leading the charge and has created this public petition underscoring the critical importance of campus diversity. Join your name to the call today and spread the word to friends, family and your Facebook and Twitter communities.