How U.S. Supreme Court on Affirmative Action could affect NC colleges

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments surrounding the admissions process at the University of North Carolina and Harvard.

One ECU student says he believes Affirmative Action has created more opportunities for students of color.

“To ensure that minorities have the proper access to an education and jobs, things of that nature… but we have to really process and ask ourselves how does this fundamentally change societies– how is this fundamentally helping communities,” ECU Senior and BSU member, Askari Wa-Watu, told us.

The lawsuit in question revolves around Title 6 of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in any program or activity that receives federal funds or other federal assistance.

It also claims that UNC’s practice is in violation of the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection of the law.

Kenny Xu is a Raleigh author who was part of the group that filed the suit.

Xu says,“We’re trying to eliminate race-based discrimination here. No one should be surprised that we’re trying to make it more color blind country where race is less of a factor in our country and admissions, promotions and hiring.”

A Political Science associate professor at NC State says that the way justices rule could play a major role in the way colleges can create a more diverse student body in the future.

Michael Struett says, “If the Supreme Court overturns its recent precedent, reverses itself and finds that any use of race at all is constitutionally prohibited, that would mean that universities across the country would lose a pretty valuable tool in terms of trying to create a diverse undergraduate student body with students from lots of different backgrounds.”

Though discussions are taking place regarding whether or not to keep the practice of Affirmative Action, a decision is not expected to be made until June of next year.

Nine states already prohibit any consideration of race in their admissions process, some of which include California, Georgia, and Florida.

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