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Harvard University

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Indian activist accused of being anti-Black for opposing affirmative action admissions policies

Asra Nomani
  • Indian activist Asra Nomani has been accused of being anti-Black for her reaction to the Supreme Court hearings on two affirmative action cases filed by Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) against the admissions policies of Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Nomani, an immigrant from India who came to the U.S. at age four, agrees with SFFA’s assertion that affirmative action discriminates against Asian American applicants as it uses race as a factor in admitting students.
  • “It’s so disheartening, I can’t even begin to tell you,” she says in a video posted on Twitter. “Sitting there through so many hours of oral arguments… Hardly a word was said about the blatant discrimination and racism that’s happening against Asians. It was the subtext but yet hardly discussed while the universities try to do their little song and dance about diversity… Anybody would support the idea of diversity right? But not through the hands of racism and discrimination.”
  • Some Twitter users have expressed their support for Nomani, praising her for “fighting for such a just & noble cause.“
  • Others, however, accused her of dismissing the struggles of Black communities and harboring hate against them.

An Indian American education activist is being accused online of being anti-Black for her opposition to affirmative action student admissions policies and lamenting that the US Supreme Court hearings on the matter lacked discussion regarding Asian Americans. 

Author Asra Nomani shared her observations on Twitter on Oct. 31 after attending the hearings of both cases filed by Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) against the admissions policies of Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

New poll shows majority of Americans oppose affirmative action

  • A majority of U.S. adults (54%) oppose the consideration of race in higher education admissions, according to a new poll conducted by The Economist and British analytics firm YouGov.
  • The online poll surveyed 1,500 American adults between Oct. 22 and Oct. 25.
  • Meanwhile, less than a quarter (23%) of poll participants expressed support for the policy, which was equivalent to those who said they were “not sure” (23%).
  • In terms of race, Black Americans and Hispanic Americans who opposed the policy (both 32%) are only slightly less than their counterparts who approved of it (both 36%).
  • The poll does not visibly show the opinion of Asian Americans, who may be included in the 7% of respondents who identified their race as “Other.”
  • The survey comes after the Supreme Court heard arguments on affirmative action cases lodged against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina (UNC) on Monday.

Most adult Americans oppose affirmative action in higher education, according to a new poll released on Wednesday by The Economist and British analytics firm YouGov.

In the recent online survey of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted between Oct. 22 and Oct. 25, a majority of 54% said colleges and universities should not consider an applicant’s race to boost student diversity. Those who expressed support composed less than a quarter (23%), which was equal to those who said they were “not sure” (23%).

Hundreds rally in support of affirmative action outside US Supreme Court

Affirmative action rally
  • As the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in lawsuits challenging affirmative action in the student admissions policies of Harvard University and the University of North Carolina on Monday, hundreds gathered outside to express their support for the admissions policies.
  • The suits, filed by conservative group Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), could result in the end of affirmative action across the country should the Supreme Court decide in the group’s favor.
  • Speakers at the gathering pointed out how students of color have had to overcome challenges to be accepted into higher education, as schools have historically excluded specific communities.
  • “The evidence is clear that Asian Americans were not discriminated against, and that race was used in a beneficial way to help our communities to ensure that our communities were diverse,” said John Yang, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
  • Students at Harvard, Princeton and Yale also wrote a collective statement rejecting SFFA’s claims and affirming that race-conscious admissions policies support racial equity in education.

Hundreds of students and advocates gathered in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Monday to express their support for affirmative action.

Organized by several organizations, the rally took place as the Supreme Court justices heard arguments in lawsuits challenging Harvard’s and the University of North Carolina’s (UNC) race-conscious admissions policies. 

Duke senior’s commencement speech accused of being plagiarized from Harvard student’s 2014 address

  • Priya Parkash, Duke University’s commencement speaker for Duke’s Class of 2022, faced heavy criticism after delivering a speech that appears highly identical to a speech by Sarah Abushaar, Harvard University’s commencement speaker for Harvard’s Class of 2014.
  • During her commencement ceremony on May 8, Parkash called her school “the Duke nation” and declared that it could become its own country.
  • Duke’s student newspaper The Chronicle would later point out that this theme, along with several other metaphors and rhetoric from Parkash’s speech, have “striking similarities” to those from Abushaar’s speech, which emphasizes “the Harvard nation.” 
  • Some of the similarities between the two speeches include comparisons of campus monuments to iconic landmarks and alumni associations to tax collection agencies. 
  • On May 11, Parkash released a statement acknowledging the similarities between the two speeches, attributing them to “suggested passages” by “respected friends and family.” 
  • Abushaar later released a statement via The Crimson noting that she hopes Parkash can use the “serious error in judgment” as an “opportunity to learn and grow.”

A graduating student at Duke University faced heavy criticism after delivering a commencement address that shared “striking similarities” with a Harvard University graduation speech from 2014.

During her commencement ceremony on May 8, speaker Priya Parkash called her school “the Duke nation” and said it could become its own country due to its various associations and landmarks.

Biden admin asks SCOTUS to reject case that says Harvard admissions discriminatory toward Asian students

Biden admin Harvard lawsuit

Biden administration U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar backed Harvard’s race-conscious admissions process in a brief filed to the Supreme Court Wednesday, following a challenge to affirmative action laws.

The brief: Prelogar asked the Court to reject the appeal of the Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) anti-affirmative action petition, which argues Harvard’s race-conscious admissions processes violate federal law.

Immigration officials approve first-ever ‘Dreamer’ Rhodes Scholar’s application to leave to study at Oxford

Jin Park's application to study at Oxford gets approved

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved a “Dreamer’s” application to leave to England to study at the University of Oxford, his lawyers, Boston-based WilmerHale, announced.

The details: In 2018, South Korean immigrant Jin Park became the first-ever Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient to receive the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. He will join Santiago Potes, the first Latino DACA recipient and second “Dreamer” ever to receive a Rhodes Scholarship, at Oxford next month.

Maryland Businessman Accused of Paying $1.5 MILLION in Bribes to Get His Sons Into Harvard

harvard

A Maryland businessman and an ex-Harvard fencing coach were arrested and charged with conspiring to secure the admission of the former’s two sons to the Ivy League university in exchange for bribes.

Jie “Jack” Zhao, 61, allegedly paid Peter Brand, 67, more than $1.5 million over the course of several years, which came in the form of money, a house, a car and college tuition payments for his child.

Harvard PhD Students Create Map Displaying Anti-Asian Aggression in Boston, NYC

Harvard PhD students

Two Harvard University Ph.D. students have created a crowdsourced map displaying anti-Asian aggression in Boston and New York amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The map, which was created by Boram Lee and Ja Young Choi using Google “My Maps,” shows more than 40 markers that represent verbal and/or physical aggression towards Asian Americans in Boston and New York, according to Boston Globe.

Student Rejected for Harvard’s Early Admission Makes Fire ‘Please Let Me In’ Rap Video

harvard

An Asian man created a rap video titled “Harvard Please Let Me In” after his admission to one of the most prestigious universities in the world was deferred.

Ethan Kim filmed a rap music video where he pleads for Harvard University to let him attend the school. In the last part of the song’s chorus, Kim raps, “Harvard, admit me, you know you want to / Just you wait and see how much I can do.”

Harvard Does Not Discriminate Against Asian Americans, Judge Rules

Harvard University does not discriminate against Asian Americans in its admissions process, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.

In her 130-page decision, U.S. District Court Judge Allison Burroughs rejected the argument of the plaintiff, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), a group claiming that the Ivy League university held Asians to higher standards compared to Black and Hispanic applicants.