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On November 2nd, arguments for the Harvard race-based admissions trial concluded. The defendant was Harvard University, the plaintiff was Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), and at stake was Harvard’s controversial system of selecting applicants for admittance into one of America’s most prestigious universities. The system is designed to prioritize diversity on Harvard’s campus, which often means that black and Latino minorities get a slight boost up and over the threshold. Since the SCOTUS rulings on Fischer vs. the University of Texas (“rulings” is pluralized, since Fisher was decided twice, in 2013 and 2016), colleges have been able to use “race-sensitive” admissions models, if those models are not discriminatory. The problem is that Harvard’s model seems to discriminate against Asian-American applicants, hence the lawsuit from SFFA. This presents a quandary: diversity of experience and ideas is a good thing, but how can you favor students from one race without discriminating against students from another? The Harvard decision has not yet been handed down, and though both parties are prepared to appeal, we have a rare opportunity to put ourselves in a federal judge’s shoes. Debaters get to square off on the legality and ethics of affirmative action in this release.
This week’s topics of debate include identity politics, the impact of Beto O’Rourke’s Senate race, tensions with China, campus carry, the 17th Amendment, and historical scenario resolutions on Microsoft, the USSR, and SCOTUS.
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