AUGUST 07, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF Don't let the Supreme Court end campus diversity

This Fall, the Supreme Court will weigh in on the admissions policy adopted by the University of Texas. At question is whether colleges and universities will continue providing equal opportunity for qualified students of color or return to the segregated campuses where Black students are denied equal access. You can help SCOTUS make the right decision by signing on to an amicus brief, from high school and college students, that will be submitted to the court on August 13th.

If the Supreme Court strikes down UT's current admissions policy in the Fisher v. University of Texas case, the decision could negatively impact students not just in Texas, but all over the country. The diversity that students have come to expect and appreciate on college campuses could come to a screeching halt.

Since affirmative action was first instituted in the early 1960's, many colleges have worked to ensure that higher education remains accessible for students of color, women, and lower-income students. This means that the pool of talent coming out of colleges and universities has been larger and more representative of the nation's population in recent decades.

Critics of affirmative action suggest it is no longer necessary because America has made significant strides towards equality, quickly pointing to the accomplishments of President Obama as evidence. But as we know, affirmative action remains necessary because discrimination still exists. Without a commitment to campus diversity, many students would be shut out of access to higher education and the opportunities that follow.

The last time the Supreme Court made an affirmative action decision was nine years ago. By a vote of 5 to 4, the justices held that public universities could use race as a factor in admissions in Grutter v Bollinger. The Court in its decision emphasized that a diverse student body improves education outcomes for all students. 

But the upcoming decision rests in the hands of a court that has grown increasingly hostile toward equal access and fair representation. A negative decision by the court would lead to dramatic reductions in diversity on college campuses, threatening decades of progress and the economic security of people of color in the long run.