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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

February-03-99

Discrimination Suit Filed Against Prestigious University

Civil rights organizations have filed suit against the University of California at Berkeley alleging that the university's new policies, which were adopted as a result of anti-affirmative campaigns, discriminate against minority students.

The University is accused of placing too much focus on SAT scores as well as on the amount of honors and advanced placement courses a student has taken which biases admission against minorities. This system is advantageous only to those students who come from well-funded high schools which can afford to have more honors and advanced placement courses. Typically, these privileged schools have not been readily available to the less affluent student.

The most recent freshman class at Berkeley has experienced a 12 percent decline in the number of minority students when compared with freshman classes before the measure was enacted. This has resulted in an inordinate amount of minority students who have been denied entrance to one of California's most academically recognized schools.

Kimberely West-Faulcon from the NAACP Legal Defense and Education (one of the groups that has filed joint suit) said, "rewarding applicants with slightly higher SAT scores who had access to (advanced placement) courses simply because of where they attend high school doesn't reward merit, it rewards privilege."

Media Resources: Washington Post - February 3, 1999


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