The Harvard Admissions Trial: Campus Climate and the Response from Administrators, Admission Officers, and Student Organizers

The Harvard admissions lawsuit may be the final challenge to end affirmative action as it exists today. In November 2014, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) filed a lawsuit against Harvard University alleging that their undergraduate admissions practices are unconstitutional. The plaintiffs claim that Harvard’s affirmative action admissions policies violate the Civil Rights Act such that Asian American applicants are racially and ethnically discriminated against causing systematic underrepresentation in Harvard’s incoming freshmen classes. This trial has raised complicated questions within academic communities about affirmative action and academic merit in college admissions. Likewise, there is a lot to unpack regarding the SFFA v Harvard case: the historic reasons for affirmative action, the future implications of the trial if affirmative action is dismantled, the national debate within the Asian American community and other communities of color, the use of the collective “Asian-American” in terms of underrepresented South Asian populations, and the use of Asian bodies in white conservative political agendas, in this case, led by Edward Blum, the president of SFFA. Considering those other issues, this discussion will focus on the campus climate at Harvard before, during, and after the trial, including the press releases from the administration, admissions officers, and student organizers.  

Click here to read the full article