Students walk past the Creative Arts Building at SF State in San Francisco, Calif., on Dec. 7, 2022. (Tatyana Ekmekjian / Golden Gate Xpress) (Tatyana Ekmekjian)
Students walk past the Creative Arts Building at SF State in San Francisco, Calif., on Dec. 7, 2022. (Tatyana Ekmekjian / Golden Gate Xpress)

Tatyana Ekmekjian

Affirmative action at risk of being dismantled by the U.S. Supreme Court

A lawsuit against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina puts affirmative action in jeopardy.

December 12, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court reevaluated affirmative action in October amid the latest lawsuit that seeks to end race as a consideration for college admission. SF State officials believe affirmative action is integral to diversifying universities. 

The last time the Supreme court ratified affirmative action was in 2016.

Students for Fair Admissions, a nonprofit created in 2014 that aims to end the consideration of race in college applications, filed lawsuits against Harvard University for allegedly discriminating against Asian students by the usage of a likability standard test, a test designed to measure a person in kindness, sensibility, friendliness, and positivity amongst others.

The nonprofit also filed a lawsuit against the University of North Carolina for considering socioeconomics in the application of students, which it believes can allude to race.

“I’d like to be hopeful the Supreme Court won’t do it [but] I’m not hopeful,” said SF State President Lynn Mahoney. “I think the Supreme Court has indicated quite clearly the things that it wants to roll back. If you know you have racial, ethnic, religious groups that come from underserved communities, we should be building them up.”

According to Latinx Student Center director Emmanuel Padilla, schools should look like their communities.

“Schools should represent their communities,” Padilla said. “There needs to be a certain consideration or plan of education for the community.”

Despite being upheld for six years, affirmative action now faces a 6-3 conservative-leaning Supreme Court.

Xpress interviewed Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) in September about possible steps Congress might take in the case of the repeal of affirmative Action. He believes children in the U.S. benefit from having diverse schools and communities.

“I just think that we’re better off when our workplaces and our schools are diverse,” Murphy said. “We’d have to read the ruling, so obviously, any response from Congress would be dependent on what the exact ruling is.”

The Supreme Court’s official ruling is expected to release in summer 2023. 

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About the Contributors
Photo of Oscar Palma
Oscar Palma, Staff Reporter
Oscar Palma (he/him) is a reporter for Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in Latin American studies. Oscar was born in Nicaragua but now lives in San Francisco, where he has been for the last 10 years. He previously wrote for El Tecolote, the oldest bilingual newspaper in the United States. Oscar wants to be an environmental journalist who covers Latin America; during his free time, he enjoys cycling, live music and film.
Photo of Tatyana Ekmekjian
Tatyana Ekmekjian, Staff Photographer
Tatyana Ekmekjian (she/her) is a photojournalism major and hospitality and tourism management minor at SF State. Tatyana has a great passion for the culture, industry and preparation of food in the commercial world. She hopes to combine her passions for food and photography with her love of thoughtfully expressing her thoughts to propel herself as a food critic or writer in the future.

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