The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

89° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

StormTracker

Cecilia Maldonado of Chicanos Unidos Arizona, a Chicano civil rights group, thinks that the test scores and grades of Latino students are irrelevant when it comes to college admission. Partnering with Miguel Longoria, president of Nuestros Reconquistos, the two hope to propose an affirmative action policy to the UA in the coming weeks. Under the proposed plan, the UA must accept a minimum of one out of every four Latino applicants.  

Not only is it jaw-dropping to say that test scores and grades are irrelevant to college admission, it seems illegal to require a minimum number of applicants be accepted. I’m no attorney, but I distinctly recall a Supreme Court case titled Regents of the University of California v. Bakke that outlawed quotas. Call me crazy, but setting a specific number, or percentage, of persons who must be admitted sounds dangerously like a quota.

Not only is this proposition skating along the lines of legality, it’s just plain wrong. This is not to cry foul on the notion of affirmative action, which is a necessary reaction to the circle of poverty that viciously follows many minorities. Rather, this is to say that the problem here is trying to draw a distinct line on where diversity and equality exist.  

Unfortunately, diversity and equality are difficult to find. Perhaps that is what makes them so spectacular when they’re truly achieved. Trying to define them numerically becomes difficult, subjective, discriminatory and results in a watered-down reality. It’s all smoke and mirrors. The truth is that diversity and equality are so rare that when you see them, you just know it.

Affirmative action is beneficial for evening the playing field, so to speak, but quotas are not. Grades most certainly matter, and are a scale by which all should be considered. Are they the only important factor? Of course not. However, ignoring them and trying to turn the UA into “”Feel Good U”” is inexcusable. Expect scattered rainstorms of rage.

— Storm Byrd is the Summer Wildcat perspectives editor. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

More to Discover
Activate Search