The Student Assembly of the State University of New York strongly opposes the changes to federal guidance on the consideration of race in university admissions announced this week by the Justice and Education Departments.
This guidance, issued by the Obama Administration, encouraged campuses to consider race as part of a holistic admissions process in order to promote campus diversity.
The Student Assembly is deeply committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion on all sixty-four SUNY campuses. Race-aware admissions policies are an essential tool for institutions of higher education in creating diverse and inclusive campus communities.
“Unfortunately the work to end the marginalization of certain American communities is still ongoing,” said Michael Braun, President of the SUNY Student Assembly and SUNY Trustee. “Many students enter the college admissions process with the deck stacked against them; it is essential that colleges and universities consider the obstacles marginalized students face in the admission process and institute policies to level the playing field.”
The Student Assembly applauds Governor Andrew Cuomo for his unequivocal opposition to these regressive guidance changes, and for directing the SUNY and CUNY Board of Trustees to investigate whether current SUNY and CUNY admissions guidelines do enough to promote diversity and inclusion.
“On behalf of SUNY’s 600,000 students I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for taking such a strong stand in support of campus diversity,” said Braun. “At a time when students of color feel under attack from Washington, knowing that the Governor has their back is all the more important.”
The Student Assembly encourages all campuses to maintain inclusive admissions policies. While this change in guidance is troubling, campuses can continue to set their own race-aware admissions policies. We implore all campus administrations to not allow this change in guidance to influence policies that do so much good for so many students.