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harvard

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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%).

US Supreme Court poised to ban affirmative action in college admissions

  • On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments concerning admissions programs that take race into consideration at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina (UNC).
  • The conservative-majority court spent over five hours hearing arguments from a total of five lawyers: three arguing on behalf of Harvard and UNC and two former clerks to Justice Clarence Thomas arguing for the Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA).
  • Thomas, a long-time affirmative action critic, said: “I’ve heard the word diversity quite a few times, and I don’t have a clue what it means. It seems to mean everything for everyone.”
  • Justice Sonia Sotomayor contested that the 14th Amendment took race into account when it was adopted after the Civil War to help Black Americans get access to rights and privileges previously denied to them.
  • SFFA lawyer Patrick Strawbridge argued that the affirmative action policies that have benefited Black applicants have left Asian applicants disadvantaged, while Harvard lawyer Seth P. Waxman pointed out that many factors contribute to how the Ivy League institution admits its students.

The U.S. Supreme Court is widely expected to rule against admissions programs that take race into consideration at Harvard and the University of North Carolina (UNC).

The court spent over five hours on Monday hearing arguments for and against affirmative action, which for years has been backed by decades of precedent upheld by narrow court majorities. The two landmark cases being argued are Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard (Case No. 20-1199) and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina (Case No. 21-707). The plaintiffs contend in part that Asian students are disadvantaged by affirmative action in race-conscious university admissions policies.

Harvard asserts notifying insurer about high-profile Asian discrimination lawsuit unnecessary

harvard
  • During a federal-court filing on Monday, lawyers representing Harvard University asserted that the institution did not have to notify Zurich American Insurance Co about the high-profile affirmative action lawsuit the school faced since the insurer “surely knew about” it.
  • The insurance dispute comes from a 2014 lawsuit filed by the Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) against the university alleging that its undergraduate admissions practices discriminated against Asian Americans.
  • Harvard filed a lawsuit against its secondary insurer Zurich, demanding that it cover $15 million as part of the expenses it spent defending its admissions practices.
  • Zurich filed a pretrial motion for judgment last month, claiming the excess policy covered only claims that were both “made and reported” between November 2014 and January 2016.
  • While the school admitted to notifying Zurich only in May 2017, it asserted that the insurance company must have already known of SFFA’s lawsuit even before January 2016, thus satisfying the notice requirement.

Lawyers representing Harvard University asserted that the institution did not have to notify Zurich American Insurance Co about the high-profile affirmative action lawsuit the school faced since the insurer “surely knew about” it.

In November 2014, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) filed a lawsuit against the university alleging that its undergraduate admissions practices discriminated against Asian Americans. The case, which was widely covered by mainstream media, resulted in the insurance dispute.

Chinese Harvard student decides ‘not to learn English anymore’

  • A Chinese Harvard student has gone viral after sharing a video where she explains why she has decided to “stop trying to learn English.”
  • The video was uploaded as an assignment for her Language and Equity course.
  • The 24-year-old student explained that she did not feel satisfied throughout her 20-year journey of learning English.
  • Rather than pursuing English to secure a sense of belonging, the student is determined to use it as a “tool” instead.

A video of a Chinese Harvard student explaining why she has decided to “stop trying to learn English” has gone viral on Bilibili.

In the video uploaded on Thursday, 24-year-old Tatala shared her reasons behind why she no longer wishes to learn English. The video was submitted as an assignment for a Harvard Language and Equity course.

Flyers with anti-Asian slurs posted to Harvard UC president’s door days after separate alleged vandalism

  • Harvard College Undergraduate Council President Michael Y. Cheng has been on the receiving end of racially charged attacks weeks after his inauguration.
  • His dorm room door at Quincy House was vandalized on Thursday and had racist flyers posted to it on Monday.
  • Cheng said the attacks are coming from people who are against his platforms aimed at making changes to the council.
  • He demanded an apology for the flyers and previous “exaggerated attacks” from the perpetrator.
  • While Cheng received messages of solidarity from council members, he lamented that some of them may have partaken in the attacks.
  • Multiple student groups condemned the “act of direct racism” and urged the college to respond to the incident with concrete action.

Racist flyers were found posted on the door of a dorm room where the president of Harvard College’s student government currently resides. 

Undergraduate Council (UC) President Michael Y. Cheng was leaving his dorm in Quincy House on Monday morning when he found two posters with “MICHAEL CHENG IS A CH*NK” and the phrase “SAVE THE UC” written on them, reported The Harvard Crimson

Harvard president defends university after Supreme Court accepts admissions case: ‘race matters’

harvard affirmative action
  • Harvard University President Larry S. Bacow called the Supreme Court’s decision to review a case challenging the school’s use of race in the college admissions process a risk to “forty years of legal precedent.”
  • "As the Supreme Court has recognized many times, race matters in the United States,” Bacow said in a university-wide statement on Tuesday.
  • He added that “each of us” is more than “our grades” or “scores.”

Harvard University President Larry S. Bacow spoke out against the Supreme Court’s decision to review a case challenging the school’s use of race in the college admissions process, calling the move a risk to “forty years of legal precedent.”

“As the Supreme Court has recognized many times, race matters in the United States,” Bacow, former chancellor at MIT and president at Tufts, said in a university-wide statement on Tuesday.

Supreme Court to hear cases alleging Harvard, UNC admissions discriminates against Asian students

harvard
  • The Supreme Court agreed to hear cases on the consideration of race as a factor in college admissions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.
  • The Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) is pushing for the court to repeal its 2003 ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger, which upheld the University of Michigan’s law school admissions policy.
  • Harvard responded to SFFA’s petition by arguing that the university’s admission process did not discriminate against Asian American applicants.

The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it will hear two cases on whether the consideration of race in college admissions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina (UNC) violates civil rights.

A ruling against the schools could affect affirmative action programs and racial diversity at public and private universities throughout the country.

Harvard student’s ‘Korean Disney princess’ goes viral — and film producers want in

  • Harvard student Julia Riew created a full script for the first “Korean Disney princess” as part of her senior thesis in playwriting.
  • After a clip of her singing one of her songs went viral on TikTok, people online have been calling on Disney to make her script into a reality.
  • “Mulan is wonderful, but obviously there's a really widespread understanding of what it means to be Asian American, and having one princess represent all Asian Americans is really, really tricky,” she told NextShark.

In the magical world of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White lies one other princess who has yet to awaken: Shimcheong. Only it’s not a prince who’s come to find her — it’s Julia Riew, a musical theater composer and lyricist studying at Harvard who figured if Disney won’t make a Korean princess, she’d do it on her own. 

Riew crafted her story of Princess Shimcheong as part of her senior thesis on playwriting, involving a full, original musical script. After completing her first draft, she shared a 45-second clip of her song “Dive” to TikTok earlier this month, not suspecting that it would generate hundreds of thousands of views and a demand for the story to be made into a real-life production. 

Harvard says no need for SAT, ACT scores for applicants through 2026

Harvard Admissions

Harvard University will not require SAT and ACT scores from undergraduate applicants until 2026, according to an official announcement released Thursday.

Driving the news: The new policy was conceived in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting limited access to standardized testing sites students have faced, according to the university. The university previously waived SAT and ACT scores as an admissions requirement for 2021 and 2022.

Jeremy Lin ‘Deeply Honored’ to Be Selected as Harvard’s 2021 Class Day Speaker

NBA icon Jeremy Lin was announced as Harvard’s Class of 2021 virtual Class Day Speaker on Monday. 

Before becoming a professional basketball player, Lin graduated from Harvard in 2010 with an economics degree. Since his time at Harvard, he was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, became the first Asian American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA as well as the first Asian American to win an NBA championship with the Toronto Raptors.

Harvard Professor Sparks Outrage for Claiming Korean ‘Comfort Women’ Were Willingly Employed in Japan

comfort women

A Harvard Law School professor has stoked controversy over claims that Imperial Japan had employed “comfort women” under contracts during World War II.

J. Mark Ramseyer, who teaches Japanese legal studies, argued that those women — most of whom were Korean — were recruited and not taken by force to become sex slaves, contrary to previous reports on the subject.