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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Occidental Faculty ends legacy admissions


Occidental Faculty, a non-public liberal arts faculty in Los Angeles, is the most recent faculty to finish legacy admissions within the wake of a Supreme Court docket choice eradicating race from faculty admissions selections.

A campus letter from the college’s president mentioned an applicant’s household ties to Occidental alumni “might be thought of” previously however had solely “minimal affect” on selections.

“Nonetheless, to make sure we’re eradicating any potential limitations to entry and alternative, Occidental will not ask candidates about alumni relationships as a part of the appliance,” President Harry J. Elam Jr. mentioned in a campus message on Wednesday. He cited the Supreme Court docket’s choice.

The college of about 2,000 college students is understood for being the campus the place Obama started his faculty profession in 1979. Obama spent two years at Occidental earlier than transferring to Columbia College. Obama gave his first political speech on the faculty in 1981, urging its leaders to divest from South Africa.

An Occidental spokesman mentioned Obama was not a legacy scholar and his dad and mom didn’t attend the college.

Schools throughout the nation have confronted mounting stress to finish legacy admissions following the Supreme Court docket’s choice. Seen as an additional perk for the white and rich, opponents say it’s not defensible and not using a counterbalance in affirmative motion.

Occidental introduced the change every week after Wesleyan College in Connecticut ended legacy admissions. An applicant’s household connection to Wesleyan graduate “signifies little about that applicant’s potential to succeed on the college,” the college’s president wrote.

The U.S. Schooling Division is now investigating Harvard’s use of the observe after a civil rights group filed a grievance alleging that legacy admissions are discriminatory and given an unfair enhance to white college students. The grievance from Legal professionals for Civil Rights argues that college students with legacy ties are as much as seven instances extra prone to be admitted to Harvard, could make up practically a 3rd of a category and that about 70% are white.

Opponents have redoubled their efforts after the top of affirmative motion. The NAACP has requested greater than 1,500 schools to finish legacy admissions this month, and the group Ed Mobilizer revived a marketing campaign urging alumni of 30 prestigious schools to withhold donations till their faculties finish the observe.

Democrats in Congress reintroduced laws Wednesday that may minimize federal cash from schools that favor college students primarily based on their ties to alumni or donors. State legislators in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York have proposed comparable payments after Colorado banned the observe at public universities in 2021.

Some schools defend the observe, saying it builds an alumni neighborhood and encourages donations. It’s unclear what number of faculties use the observe, nevertheless it’s commonest on the nation’s wealthiest and most selective schools.

Some schools deserted the coverage lengthy earlier than the Supreme Court docket opinion, together with Amherst Faculty and Johns Hopkins College. Another prestigious faculties say they’ve by no means used it, together with the Massachusetts Institute of Know-how.

Occidental’s shift was introduced amongst different efforts to advertise campus variety. The college may even increase outreach to varsities with greater concentrations of low-income college students and can work to extend the variety of college students transferring from neighborhood schools, the president mentioned in his letter.


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