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Why We Need Affirmative Action

Szymon Wiśniewski



Affirmative action is no new policy. The use of affirmative action dates back to

over fifty years. Affirmative action is an effort to improve the employment and

educational opportunities of minority groups and women to promote the rights of

disadvantaged people. Today, affirmative action is used in college admittance.

Affirmative action in collages attempt to remedy for past generations of discrimination against students of color, low income and women by admitting more students of minorities, thus busting the number of underrepresented minorities in top tier educational institutions. Therefore, with affirmative action promoting diversity, social, mobility and greater equity in admissions, it should be retained.

Diversity among higher educational institutions helps promote equality and

prepare students for the world around them. Many higher educational institutes share a common belief that diversity in student bodies, faculty, and staff is important in order to promote a high quality education. According to the article, "On The Importance of Diversity in Higher Education” by ACE, it states, “Diversity enriches the educational experience by learning from those whose experiences, beliefs and perspectives differ from our own. These lessons are best taught in a richly diverse, intellectual and social environment”. To add on based on the article, "5 Reasons to Support Affirmative Action in College Admissions" by Conor Maxwell and Sarah Garcia, it emphasizes that diversity in colleges enhances educational experiences and prepares students for the world outside of the classroom. As stated in the text, ”...racially integrated classrooms can reduce student’s racial bias, improve satisfaction and intellectual self confidence, and enhance leadership skills. These benefits may translate to better economic outcomes and among other payoffs, prepare students to work in a diverse global economy, increasing the productivity, effectiveness, and creativity of teams”.

In past generations, people of color were kept out of many colleges. This

discrimination contributed to lower education levels, worse jobs, and lower income.

Thus people of color were stereotyped as low class members of society. Affirmative

action helps counter this by promoting social mobility(social mobility is the movement of individuals, families, or groups through a social hierarchy). According to "5 Reasons to Support Affirmative Action in College Admissions", it states, “...research has shown that low income students complete their degree at higher rates and earn almost as much as wealthy students post graduation. These findings suggest that all students regardless of background benefit from the value top tier institutions provide”. To add on in the same article it states, “Affirmative action can help to level the playing field by ensuring all students regardless of wealth, privilege, have a chance to benefit from the advantages selective colleges provide. As a result low income students and students of color increase their chances of emerging from poverty and stepping into the middle class”.

Overall, this will help future generations of students to focus on academic achievements because the community around them will encourage a pursuit of educational opportunities.

Race-conscious admissions practices, such as affirmative action encourage

colleges to consider non-traditional factors that can make a student successful: one such factor being race. Students of color have been a historically excluded group who faced systematic barriers in the American educational system, such as segregation, fewer resources, and familial wealth. According to the article, "5 Reasons to Support Affirmative Action in College Admissions", it enunciates, “... students of color are less likely to be referred to ‘gifted and talented’ programs even after controlling for test scores, health, socio-economic status and classroom and school characteristics”. To end this bias, affirmative action should be used because it allows colleges to consider race as one of many factors under evaluation, increasing the chances of the student of color receiving fair, comprehensive consideration instead of being overlooked.

For years, colleges and universities rejected students of minority groups thus students of these minorities remained underrepresented at high educational institutes. Affirmative action combats this discrimination by making colleges and universities considerate of a student's race, ethnicity, income or identity and ensuring colleges and universities provide opportunities to the historically excluded . With affirmative action providing benefits such as: diverse classrooms/ workspaces leading to reduce bias and increase in proactivity: leveling the playing field. It also allows minorities to climb the ranks of the social class by promoting social mobility. With affirmative action benefits relevant in today's society, it should be retained as an aspect of college admissions.



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