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I Stand With Harvard As It Goes To Trial Today Against Asian-Americans Who Claim The School Discriminates Against Them

NY Times- The lawsuit says Asian-American applicants had the highest test scores and academic credentials of any racial or ethnic group, yet were passed over in favor of others. Harvard says it seeks to build diverse classes and must consider a fuller picture of applicants, not just their academics.

One of the biggest applause lines at the Boston rally [for the Asian-American students] came from Jacob Verrey, 22, a Harvard senior studying cognitive neuroscience and evolutionary psychology.

“Skin color is not a substitute for your life story,” he declared, to cheers from the crowd.

Mr. Verrey seemed to be touching on the frequent lament from supporters of race-conscious admissions that if they were not able to reveal their racial or ethnic background in their college applications, they would not be able to explain the core of their identity.

At the Harvard rally, meanwhile, protesters countered Mr. Verrey’s view, chanting, “We are more! Than our scores!”

Things are heating up at Harvard. My beloved alma mater is heading to court today to defend itself against accusations of unfair admissions practices, specifically ones that limit the number of Asian-American students that can be admitted each year.

The Asian-American students/representatives are arguing that it’s illegal to have a quota on a certain type of student based on race. They say that if they’re the most qualified applicants, based on numbers and grades and whatnot, they should be allowed in. It’s the same argument that opponents of affirmative action have used for years–admit the best students, regardless of race. Except this time, it’s coming from a minority group. Against other minority groups.

Yesterday, there were two rallies happening: on one side of the river, you had the Asian-Americans arguing for race-blind admissions. On the other side, Harvard’s defenders said that race had to be considered when evaluating applicants because it’s such a big part of many applicants’ lives.

The Harvard Square rally listed a diverse array of campus groups as participants, including Fuerza Latina of Harvard, Harvard Asian American Alumni Alliance, Harvard Black Alumni Society, Harvard Islamic Society and Native Americans at Harvard College.

The idea here is that if the admissions committee didn’t take race into consideration, it could theoretically fill the entire class with Asian-American students, which would be to the detriment of black, Native American, and other minority students whose race was considered during their application, who may have benefitted by Harvard’s effort to create a diverse student body.

In other words, this is your classic minority vs. minorities case. And if the minorities are actually more than the minority, you could probably just call it minority vs. majority. Even though the majority is comprised of a number of different minorities. It’s a numbers game, really.

For my part, I definitely side with the majority of minorities. I am more than my scores. Unless you’re talking about all scores I had against terrified lax goalies in high school. There’s no chance I get in if the admissions committee hadn’t looked at my ground-ball scooping ability, or my tendency to sling top cheese, or my refusal to ever shoot overhand bounce shots. Harvard needs that guy. They needed me. I made that place diverse as hell.

I will stand arm-in-arm with the Black Alumni Society, Fuerza Latina of Harvard, and the Harvard Islamic Society, wearing full lacrosse pads, as we march down Mass Ave and champion our individuality. Thank you, Harvard, for valuing what makes us unique.


Mr. Zhang said he had urged his son to apply to Harvard as a “gay Asian-American who fought with his parents over being gay,” just “as a social experiment” to see if he would get in. His son refused and did not apply to Harvard.

Social experiment my ass.