Michigan Affirmative Action Activists Rally to Support BOTH Affirmative Action and 10% Plan in University of Texas Admissions
A contingent from the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) will be attending oral arguments in Fisher v. Texas and then holding a press conference on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court after the court session.
Members of the contingent include UM Alumni who organized the student intervention into Grutter v. Bollinger and the 2003 50,000-strong March on Washington in defense of affirmative action, plaintiffs in BAMN’s pending challenge to Prop 2, the 2006 state ban on affirmative action in Michigan, as well as minority students who are currently having to contend with diminished educational opportunity under the Prop 2 ban.
“BAMN supports both aspects of the Univ. of Texas current admission policy. The Ten Percent Plan, which makes up 75% of the UT student body, is by far the most democratic, equal, fair and transparent admissions system of any elite university in the country.
The traditional “holistic” plan which now comprises 25% of UT admissions, enables out-of-state, non-athlete, underrepresented minority students access to the University, as long as race-conscious affirmative action policies are in place to counter-balance the factors which capture racial and class inequities in educational opportunities. These factors, most importantly heavy reliance on standardized test scores, always give applicants who attend privileged majority-white high schools a huge unearned advantage in a competitive admissions system,” said Kate Stenvig, BAMN College Organizer.
Large numbers of gifted and hard-working students from not only poor and Latina/o, black, Native American and immigrant communities, but also from poor white communities, who never even would have applied, let alone gained admission to UT Austin under a conventional admissions system, even one with affirmative action, have been able to utilize the educational opportunities UT Austin provides, to develop themselves, to let their talents shine and to uplift the dignity and pride of their embattled and struggling communities.
“Ending the affirmative action component in the context of the UT Austin admissions system would reserve twenty-five percent of UT Austin seats for students who come from privileged majority-white schools.
Utilizing factors such as standardized test scores, alumni preference, access to advanced placement courses, high school rank and extra-curricular activities would give a huge unearned advantage to wealthy white students and those from privileged schools.
In this context the affirmative action plan challenged by the petitioner is the only measure barring this special admissions track from becoming a blatant white-privilege track for those wealthy, white Texas and out-of-state students who expressly do not qualify under UT Austin’s predominant Ten Percent admissions track,” said Donna Stern, BAMN National Coordinator.
“We promise you this, if this court rules against affirmative action, BAMN will immediately file suit against the use of any “traditional” admissions system, because it will be nothing but a special admissions track for privileged white and, to some extent, Asian students,” said Shanta Driver, BAMN attorney and Chairperson.
BAMN is a mass, democratic, integrated, national organization dedicated to building a new mass civil rights movement to defend affirmative action,integration, and the other gains of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and to advance the struggle for equality in American society by any means necessary.