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On University of Michigan 6th Circuit Ruling

Statement of Julia Beatty, President
United States Student Association

Washington, D.C.

We are happy today to celebrate a victory on affirmative action in the University of Michigan case. This case is critical not just because of the impact it will have on diversity in higher education, but for the effect it will have on equal access and opportunity for students of color.

We are hopeful that the sixth circuit court ruling will encourage university administrators who support and defend affirmative action within their institutions and discourage those administrators who would further weaken and dismantle equal opportunity programs for fear of lawsuits.

The recruitment and retention of people of color in higher education is vital to the well being of an increasingly diverse society. Students of color are still segregated into under funded schools, and racially profiled into remedial and vocational classes in integrated schools. Race must be a factor in admissions because racism is a factor in educational opportunity.

Students of color are relying on their schools to defend and protect their right to equal access to higher education. Universities that have a sincere commitment to diversity and equal opportunity must pursue equal opportunity programs to the full extent of the law.

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Published in In Motion Magazine May 21, 2001.

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