Court decision unlikely to solve affirmative action debate

Published 1:10 am Friday, April 11, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Much has been said and written about the University of Michigan and its admission policy, which is currently under review by the Supreme Court.
The University of Michigan has an admissions process based on race and is currently fighting two lawsuits challenging those policies.
The outcome of that review, however, is not likely to bring an end to the affirmative action debate, according to local experts.
Rory McVeigh, assistant professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, Ind., said if the University of Michigan loses the Supreme Court case, the outcome will just spark more debate about affirmative action policies.
Regardless of the Supreme Court's decision, the debate to give all members of society a fair chance to be successful in life will continue, he said.
McVeigh, however, said the debate is often put in a somewhat narrow perspective.
Questions have also been asked whether affirmative action is unconstitutional, because everyone isn't treated 'equally.'
McVeigh, however, said he doesn't think the affirmative action policy is unconstitutional.
Georgia Boggs, drop-stop coordinator at Ring Lardner Middle School in Niles, said it's important to look back into history, when based on their minority status, many people were deprived of basic education.
She said few minorities today have professionals in their family, as a result of their lack of education.
She said minority groups were given affirmative action in an effort to be lifted up.
Boggs hopes the affirmative action policy will remain as it is.
Many community colleges, however, are making an effort to give everyone the opportunity to get a higher education, regardless of race or financial background.
Dr David Mathews, President of Southwest Michigan College, said the main goal of many community colleges is to provide open access to anyone who wants an education.
Dr. Mathews is not surprised, however, that the University of Michigan has a lawsuit filed against it because of their admission process based on race.
Mathews doesn't think a Supreme Court decision will settle anything, either way.