A U.S. Supreme Court case will not change the University of South Dakota’s attitude toward admissions.
Fisher v. University of Texas surrounds a student who claims she was denied admission to Texas because she is Caucasian.
A ruling in favor of Abigail Fisher means the Supreme Court has deemed affirmative action unconstitutional and no longer applicable to selection processes like college applications and employment opporunities.
Affirmative action serves to counteract past discrimination against minority groups and women. Universities often attempt to enroll a critical mass of minorities into its incoming first-year classes.
The Fall 2012 semester at USD is made up of 90 percent whites, with minorities and nonresident aliens rounding out the final 10 percent. Hispanics make up the highest minority population, with 3 percent, while Native Americans, blacks and nonresident aliens are at 2 percent each. Asians/Pacific Islanders compose the final 1 percent.
Jesus Trevino, associate vice president for Diversity, said the university approves acceptance based on ACT scores and GPAs, and does not use race as a deciding factor.
“It would not have an impact on the university here,” Trevino said. “The only way it will have an impact is if the conservative groups take it one step further.”
The step further would be if race could not be used by a university at all, extending to clubs specifically formed around minority groups.
“I don’t really agree with it because your acceptance into college should be based on good grades, community involvement, etc.,” first-year Macie Harris said. “People who genuinely want to be at college and get the most out of it are the ones who should be accepted.
If that person is part of a minority, then that’s great, but minorities shouldn’t get an unfair advantage.”
Although Harris does not agree with affirmative action, she said there is a reason for USD’s low
“It looks like we aren’t very diverse because we’re in South Dakota,” Harris said. “We aren’t a very diverse state to begin with.”