Affirmative action policies have arisen as a result of executive orders, legislation, consent decrees stemming from government investigations, court-ordered remedies, and voluntary action by corporations and other institutions. These polices, which attempt to achieve diversity and equal opportunity in the workforce, have also reached the admissions process of state universities. Sadly, these policies have created more problems in the university system than they have solved. They have failed to handle the problem of poor urban education at its root and as a result have accomplished little at the higher education level. Although they have fostered some diversity and increased some access, they have veered from the original spirit of the 14th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In affirmative action?s near forty year existence, there still remain problems in reference to equal opportunity and discrimination, and there are new problems that have arisen from these policies such as a new stigmatization of minorities and new racism. These affirmative action policies have created a paradox, hurting the very people they were intended to help, and further separating a nation that they intended to bring together.
Despite the problems, admissions offices around the country continue to use affirmative action policies because they believe no alternatives are available. However, diversity and equal opportunity can be accomplished without the current affirmative action policies. Alternative polices include revamping inner city school systems, broadening admissions criteria, and policies similar to the controversial yet successful ?One Florida? plan. Since, affirmative action policies in the admission process of state universities have not fulfilled their purpose and alternatives can be created to better obtain equality and diversity, these affirmative action policies must soon be eliminated.
Isaiah McGee, ’01 Gardena, CA
Major: American History minor American Politics
Sponsor: Craig Allin