Harvard Accused of Discriminating Against Asian-Americans
A United States federal court in Boston, Massachusetts, is hearing a discrimination case against the oldest university in the country.
The nonprofit organization Students for Fair Admissions first took legal action against Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2014. It says the school discriminates against Asian-Americans seeking admission.
The legal action accuses Harvard of holding Asian-American students to higher requirements than students of other races. It says the university uses "racial balancing" policies that unlawfully limit how many Asian American students it accepts.
The organization argues that race should not be considered when deciding which students to accept. The use of "racial classifications and preferences" is "unfair, unnecessary, and unconstitutional," the group says on its website.
It accuses the school of discriminating against Asian-Americans seeking admission by giving them a "personal rating."
Lawyers for Students for Fair Admissions said these ratings seek to measure personal qualities such as "courage" and "likeability." Such qualities are measured subjectively, leaving the process open to discrimination, the lawyers argued.
The group says it has more than 20,000 members, including students, parents and others.
Harvard denies using discriminatory practices in its admissions process. The Ivy League school says it uses race as one of many things it considers in admissions decisions. It believes considering race can help create a mixed community "where students from all walks of life" can learn with and from each other.
Education and employment policies that consider race are known as affirmative action. Supporters say these policies can help make up for historic, widespread racial discrimination of minority groups. Critics have long argued that affirmative action is unfair to white people and Asian-Americans who outperform other groups on academic measures.
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard several cases about affirmative action in recent years.
The Supreme Court's most recent decision on the subject approved limited use of race in the admission process. That 2016 decision came from a lawsuit against the University of Texas that accused the school of discriminating against white students.
Harvard leaders have said the school only considers race in the way earlier Supreme Court cases have ruled is permitted.
The university has also noted that its share of Asian-Americans has grown in recent years, reaching 23 percent of the latest first year class.
Harvard reports that 15.2 percent of its most recent first year class is African-American. Hispanic or Latino students make up 12.3 percent, while 1.9 percent are Native American. That leaves a remaining group of mainly white students at under 50 percent.
President Donald Trump's administration supports the argument against Harvard.
In July, the Trump administration announced it was withdrawing government guidelines meant to increase student diversity at U.S. schools. The guidelines were developed during the presidency of Barack Obama. The guidance stated that schools could consider race in admissions decisions as long as the policies did not violate Supreme Court decisions.
The U.S. Justice Department said it was withdrawing the guidelines because it considered them "unnecessary or outdated." Civil rights groups criticized the move and some university officials said they would continue their efforts toward mixed student populations as before.
I'm Bryan Lynn.
1.federal court 联邦法院
They will take legal action in the same federal court that issued the ruling last year.
2.as long as 只要；和...一样长
As long as you honor them , we do business.
3.a group of 一组；一群
The town lies within the control of a group of guerrillas.
4.civil rights 民权
The strike has taken on overtones of a civil rights campaign.
5.The nonprofit organization Students for Fair Admissions first took legal action against Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2014.
took legal action against 对...发起诉讼
The Justice Department took legal action against states in the South that violated laws on voting rights.
As pressure for reform mounted, some states took legal action against trusts, as they became universally known.
6.Supporters say these policies can help make up for historic, widespread racial discrimination of minority groups.
make up for 补偿；弥补
Her beauty can't make up for her stupidity.
You have to make up for our loss.
2014年，非营利性组织“公平录取学生”首次向马萨诸塞州剑桥的哈佛大学发起法律诉讼 。该组织指出，哈佛大学歧视申请入学的亚裔学生 。
该诉讼控告哈佛大学对亚裔学生的入学要求高于其他种族学生 。它称，哈佛大学采用“种族平衡”政策，非法限制录取的亚裔学生数量 。
该组织认为，在学生录取时不应该将种族因素纳入考虑范围 。该组织在其网站上表示，采取“种族分类和偏好”是“不公平、多余且违反宪法的 。”
“公平录取学生”组织的律师表示，这些评分旨在衡量“勇气”和“受欢迎程度”等个人品质 。律师认为，这些品质是主观衡量的，导致这一过程容易受到歧视 。
哈佛大学否认在招生过程中采用歧视性措施 。这所常春藤联盟学校表示，他们在招生决策过程中考虑了很多因素，种族就是其中之一 。该校认为，考虑种族因素能够帮助创建一个混合型社区，各式各样的学生能够相互学习 。
考虑种族因素的教育和就业政策被称为“平权运动” 。支持者称，这些政策有助于弥补历史上少数族群普遍受到的歧视 。批评人士长期以来一直认为，平权行动对于学业成绩优于其他种族的白人和亚裔来说不公平 。
最高法院最近就该问题做出的裁决允许在录取过程中有限考虑种族因素 。2016年的这项裁决源自一起控告德克萨斯大学歧视白人学生的诉讼 。
哈佛大学报告称，在新入学的一年级学生中，非洲裔学生占15.2%，西班牙裔或拉美裔学生占12.3％，而美洲原住民学生占1.9% 。而余下的以白人为主的其它群体所占比例不足50% 。
今年7月，特朗普政府宣布撤销旨在增加美国校园学生多样性的指导方针 。这些指导方针是在奥巴马政府制定的 。这些方针指出，学校可以在录取决定中考虑种族因素，前提是政策不违反最高法院的裁决 。
美国司法部称，撤销这些指导方针是因为它们“不必要或者过时了 。”民权组织批评了这一举动，一些大学官员表示，他们将一如既往地努力构建一个由多种族的学生群体 。