Sunday, October 12, 2008

Affirmative Action

So this post is a result of the ethics activities we've been doing in class.  The issue my group had was 'Should colleges or universities be held accountable for creating a ethnic and racially diverse community?' A further question I have is affirmative action (an action/policy that favors those who tend to suffer from discrimination esp. in employment or education) a good or bad thing?  I thought I knew, but then I started playing devil's advocate in class, and then I wasn't sure.

One reason this question is particularly interesting to me is that I'm filling out college apps right now and I always avoid the ethnicity question or don't fill it out if I can.  I'm not sure why I do that, maybe it's because I would prefer that a university look solely at my grades and test scores rather than more personal factors.

What do you guys think?

6 comments:

whitepanda said...

Ah...the post deadline is looming...Anyways, it's strange because I fill in the ethnicity question so that they know what they are dealing with...for some weird reason, I think that would be most fair for the college and for me. I think that affirmative action is necessary because without it, people wouldn't be able to branch out of their confort zone and meet different kinds of people whether it's at school or at work. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE if the university would look solely at academic qualifications because we are going there to learn, not to play, but for colleges to create opportunities and interesting learning experiences, it makes sense for them to seek people with different backgrounds and cultures, than a homogeneous group (that's what makes school right now interesting...)

Ian B said...

I don't like it since it in a way encourages reverse discrimination (I'm all for minorities, but when we become so obsessed we lose sight of the big picture, that's a problem). I don't think it's necessarily going to change and I don't think complete equality from an action standpoint is possible, but I don't think it's right. I tend to relate this to the Obama vs. Clinton argument from earlier this year. Yes, Obama's a black guy and Hillary's a woman. But it isn't right to vote for either on that alone. Vote on policy, not race or sex. People should not be judged on factors beyond their control, but rather on the content of their character. Of course that'll never come to pass, but it's nice to dream.

Bismah A. said...

I have always thought that the ethnicity questions are unnecessary and shouldn't be considered. However, I am Pakistani, and I have been told that instead of skipping the box, I should check it, because the college may give me more consideration due to my race. Although I am STRONGLY opposed to this, the world works the way it does, and the question really becomes when is it justified to ignore what we may not agree with...

Nels said...

I think that in the whole Affimative action is good as it creates a more uniform population. It will eventually if given time make it so that the classes so the population percentages. You could probably argue that it isn't going to over throw the rich white guy thing but it will intergrate the middle class. I don't like it but in the end it is probably what is best. I think if you don't like it you can just take harder courses or get better grades in the courses that you do take. I check that thing that says "White" on the applications because I think they might think I might be trying to hide something or that I am trying to sugar coat things if they see my name. I mean, my name just says white guy.

Nels said...

To use TOK language, I think that this is the Ethic thing where it is to help people. I forget the actual name but you all know what I mean. Yah.

Spencer_JB_to_the_Don said...

Well, I think that it is best to choose solely on grades. If two students are competing to be accepted into a college and a minority is chosen just because they are a minority, that's not right. So, I say when deciding who to accept into a college or university, act as if they are all of the same color and race.