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Tipsheet

Harvard Student Association Funds Pro-Affirmative Action Protest at Supreme Court

AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe

Harvard University’s undergraduate student association voted 14-1 to allocate funds for a group of students traveling to the Supreme Court next week to protest in favor of affirmative action.

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As Townhall covered, the high court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in cases next week over the constitutionality of affirmative action admissions policies at Harvard University and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. In one of the cases, Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, a group of Asian students allege that they were not admitted to the Ivy League university over its “race-conscious” admissions policies. 

The Harvard Crimson reported that the Harvard Undergraduate Association voted that the Harvard Affirmative Action Coalition will receive $2,700 to subsidize meals for a group of 90 students attending demonstrations at the Supreme Court. The group reportedly secured funding for transportation and lodging through the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund. 

The $2,700 in funds for meals takes up nearly half of a $6,000 budget of HUA funding to support students “hosting workshops, events, protests and rallies.” Reportedly, materials such as “posters and megaphones” are also listed as expenses the budget can cover. 

The College Fix reported that the students will participate in “activist training” the weekend prior.

A new poll released this week found that the majority of Americans do not support college admissions policies that factor in race. 

“The Harvard case in particular gets to the heart of the problem with the current use of racial preferences because it spotlights how affirmative action for Black and Hispanic students largely comes at the expense of another racial minority that has itself historically been subject to discrimination: Asian-Americans,” attorney and policy writer Dennis Saffran wrote in Newsweek this week. 

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“Evidence presented in Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College showed that Asian enrollment at Harvard would be up to 50 percent higher if affirmative action were eliminated. Asian applicants receive the lowest scores on a vague "personal rating" assigned by admissions officials in Cambridge who have never met them, even though local alumni interviewers rate them as highly as other students, leading to the conclusion that they are being discriminated against based on their race alone,” he added.

Edward Blum, who brought forth the cases against Harvard and UNC-Chapel Hill, told The Washington Post that affirmative action admissions policies go against the Constitution and counteract the progress made in the civil rights movement. Blum is a former liberal Democrat. 

One critic told the Post that Blum is “clearly on a mission to roll back the gains of the civil rights movement that are the platform of our multiethnic, multiracial democracy.”

However, Blum said that if the Court rules against the universities, it will be “just the beginning of really the founding principles of our civil rights movement.”

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