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College students react to the end of affirmative action in admissions

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faces charges of NCAA violations including the existence of sham classes and grade inflation for student-athletes.
Gerry Broome
File: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Universities and colleges must reshape their admissions practices, now that the Supreme struck down affirmative action in college admissions. The cases involved University of North Carolina and Harvard.

Kenny Xu is a graduate of Davidson College who leads Color us United, a group that opposes race-based college admissions. He’s ecstatic with the court’s ruling because, he says, schools used affirmative action to discriminate against Asian American students.

“They denied the accomplishment that their grades and their test scores merited them, and they purposefully crafted a rationale based on any objective merit to lower the percentage of Asian Americans at their school,” he said, “So, this is a win for Asian Americans. It's a win for equal rights. It's a win for everybody.”

Sonia Green, a junior at Duke University, says the ruling sends a negative message to communities of color.

“To me affirmative action is all about making space for students who are already at a disadvantage when it comes to applications, when it comes to how many of the students are able to and decide to matriculate onto the campus,” she said. “I kind of envision in the next couple of years even less diversity when it comes to Black students, brown students, indigenous students.”

UNC and Harvard said that they use race in a limited way, but that eliminating it as a factor altogether would make it much harder to achieve a student body that looks like America.

Students for Fair Admissions, which filed the lawsuits against both schools, argued that the Constitution forbids the use of race in college admissions and called for overturning.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said the decision undermines decades of progress made across the country to reduce systemic discrimination and promote diversity on campuses.