Affirmative action has been the subject of increasing debate and tension in American society. Affirmative action is the nations most ambitious attempt to redress the issues of racial and sexual discrimination. According to the University of Rhode Island, Affirmative action is defined as, the specific actions in recruitment, hiring, upgrading and other areas designed and taken for the purpose of eliminating the present effects of past discrimination, or present discrimination (www.riuniversity.edu , 8). This allows minorities and women to be given special consideration in education and many other areas. The need for affirmative action is essential to college admissions credentials. Institutions with affirmative action policies generally set goals for increased diversity and equal opportunity among minority students.
Our society is not one of equality, but affirmative action provides a way that problems with inequality can be address to the public. Minorities such as African-Americans, Asians, and Hispanics live mostly in urban areas that have large populations. Therefore, many minorities normally attend lower quality schools. Colleges usually do not take into account that students come from different backgrounds and different quality schools. The students that have better intermediate and secondary schools have an advantage in college admissions, which exclude many minorities. Affirmative action helps students who come from a lower quality secondary school to have a chance to prove themselves in accredited college.
Another advantage of affirmative action is that it provides an environment of diversity. Diversity is essential to colleges and students. As part of higher education, students learn from face-to-face interaction with faculty member and other students to work productively inside and outside the classroom. Racial diversity can enhance college
atmosphere by improving communications. It can also develop understanding among individuals of different races. Affirmative action can help students overcome prejudices when students discover just how much they have in common with their peers from other races. The educational benefit of affirmative action is that majority of the students who has previously lack significant direct exposure to minorities, frequently have the most to gain from interaction with individuals. Diversity on college and university campuses may be something that helps people expand their mind, or be open to new opportunities. In the article Needed documentation of how affirmative action benefits all students, it discusses how it is essential t colleges and students to have minorities on the campuses (6). In the section, The Evidence for Diversity: Then and Now, it states:
In Justice Powells opinion, Baake relied heavily on the Harvard Plan. The admissions policy of Harvard College include justification for considering race as one of many factors used in deciding whom to admit. The plan stated that of Harvard College is to continue to offer first rate education to its students, minority representation in the undergraduate body would be ignored (2).
Justice Powell went on to support diversity plan, which was in 1978. I the seventies, the same things were happening as it is today. People were fighting to have their race or someone elses as a factor in college admissions. Although this happened at Harvard in 1978, it continues today all over the United States. The article goes on to state that twenty years later much has changed, yet we still rely on anecdotal evidence to support the claim that a racially diverse student body is essential to quality education (2). Affirmative action dealing with college is still trying to make campuses a more diverse place with a racially diverse student body. Admitting someone into college or a
university because they are smart, not only gives them a chance to be someone, but it also allows that campus to be diversified.
In the article, Diversity Fades on Campus, it says schools routinely make
exceptions for jocks, the children of big donors and alumni, and friends of power brokers.
So why shouldnt these same schools be allowed to make exceptions for minority
students. Minority students need the same advantages as jocks or students of big
donors to have an equal opportunity in school. Affirmative action gives the same
exceptions that some students who arent minorities receive t get into college.
According to Jackie Snow in the article The Positive Aspects of Affirmative Action the author states that minority and women remain economically disadvantage.