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OCA Optimistic Following Supreme Court's Ruling on Fisher v. University of Texas

Tuesday, June 25, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kham Moua
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OCA Optimistic Following Supreme Court's Ruling on Fisher v. University of Texas


25 June 2013


Tom Hayashi | Executive Director

202 223 5500 |

WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCA, a national organization dedicated to advancing the political, social, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), applauds the U.S. Supreme Court for its carefully crafted legal opinions which reaffirmed higher education policies that consider racial and ethnic diversity as one factor among many in awarding college admissions.

In a 7-1 decision on Monday, June 24, 2013, the United States Supreme Court withheld the decision for the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin on the grounds that the Fifth Circuit Court did not follow the precedent set by a previous case when determining the legality of UT-Austin’s race-conscious admission policies. The case will be handed down to the Fifth Circuit for further review. Although the Supreme Court vacated a decision on the Fisher case, their language continues to uphold their previous rulings favoring equal opportunity in higher education.

Affirmative action admissions policies alleviate past historical discrimination to create a more equitable playing field for all APA students. A diverse student body is a necessity for fostering a culturally competent, innovative workforce to meet the demands of the global economy in the 21st Century.

Tom Hayashi, OCA Executive Director, says that "We ardently hope that the Court of Appeals will uphold the University of Texas’ admission policy. Race-conscious admission policies create a more equitable educational landscape for APA students, foster a diverse perspective in the classroom, and develop a multicultural workforce.”

Additionally, the diversity within the APA community means that aggregated data often hide serious socioeconomic disparities. When broken down into smaller subgroups, the statistics show that Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders have some of the highest rates of poverty and lowest high school attainment rates in the country. Affirmative action is necessary to give students from these and other similar backgrounds equitable access to access educational opportunities.

"Many APA students do not come from families that look like the model minority,” says Sharon Wong, OCA President, "Our students face many educational barriers: some come from first generation, refugee families and have had their educations compromised because they went to poorly funded schools or work demanding jobs to help their family survive. Admission policies that carefully consider racial and ethnic diversity as one of many individualized factors create a more level playing field for all students.”

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