The on-campus organization Asian Pacific Americans for Action released a statement on Thursday in support of affirmative action in response to a discrimination complaint lodged against the University by the Asian American Coalition for Education.
“As Asian Americans, we want to voice our strong support for affirmative action,” the statement said. “Affirmative action is necessary in a society that continually expresses racism.”
The complaint by AACE, also filed against Columbia University, accuses both schools of discriminating against Hubert Zhao, son of AACE President YuKong Zhao, who was rejected from both schools last year, according to AACE’s website.
The coalition, formed in 2014, promotes equal education rights for Asian-American children, and advocates speaking out against Ivy League Schools’ admission processes, according to their website.
Unlike AACE, the Asian Pacific Americans for Action expressed that Asian-American students are among those suffering from discrimination who would benefit from affirmative action.
“Students of color, specifically Black folx, Latin@s, indigenous folx, Pacific Islanders, and Southeast Asians, are more likely to go to under-resourced K-12 schools,” the statement said. “Bias and stereotyping from everyday life only add to educational limits experienced by students of color. It’s critical for universities to consider these racial barriers in education during admissions.”
APAA said that affirmative action is only one part of a broader admissions process and stressed that economic status is also considered, contrary to AACE’s argument.
“Affirmative action looks at whether students have faced racial or ethnic adversity — this is one aspect of a holistic admissions process,” the statement said. “Other aspects of holistic admissions processes include looking at whether students are first-generation or have endured poverty.”
In an unequal system, affirmative action is a necessary process by which works to support minorities, according to the APAA.
“We need affirmative action, especially when you consider that these institutions of higher education were never created for people of color,” the statement said. “When ‘advocacy’ groups such [as] AACE file complaints targeting policies such as affirmative action, it’s even more important for members of the Asian Pacific Islander community to speak out.”
The University has declined comment on the complaint.