High school valedictorian Lulabel Seitz was giving her commencement address at Petaluma High School, when she brought up the challenge of sexual assault. School officials cut off her microphone, preventing her from giving the rest of the speech. Seitz, who is Filipina-American, intended to critique an educational environment where students were “learning on a campus in which some people defend perpetrators of sexual assault and silence their victims.” Ironically, she was silenced on graduation day when she tried to speak out on the issue.
In a YouTube video (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SWbFmi_lqdo) she later posted, Seitz explains that “the administration unfairly cut off my mic, and even when my classmates stood up to say that I should speak, they still did not let me finish my speech.” NPR interviewed her about the high school’s attempt to silence her message. She will be joining the Stanford University community this fall as a freshman (Class of '22). Go Card!
it will be interesting to see if she brings the same spirit of standing up to official complicity and complacency regarding sexual assault to the Farm, an issue that has deeply concerned students and alumni in recent years.
Lawsuit Against Harvard Alleges Discrimination in Race-Based Admissions
A group of Asian American plaintiffs has filed a lawsuit against Harvard University, claiming that the school stereotyped and discriminated against applicants with Asian backgrounds. According to The New York Times, the suit claims that “Asian-Americans scored higher than applicants of any other racial or ethnic group on admissions measures like test scores, grades and extracurricular activities, according to the analysis commissioned by a group that opposes all race-based admissions criteria.” But the university “ranked Asian-American applicants "lower on personality traits” (such as likability, courage, kindness, being "widely respected" "attractive to be with" or having a "positive personality") which hindered their chances of admissions.
Drawing from documents made public by the same lawsuit, the Washington Post reports that “an internal Harvard University review from five years ago suggested Asian American applicants would be let into the undergraduate college in much greater numbers if academic performance were the only criterion for admission...The review from Harvard’s Office of Institutional Research, uncovered by the plaintiff in a federal lawsuit, appeared to indicate that applicants of Asian descent would constitute 43 percent of the admitted class at the ultra-selective university under a hypothetical “academics-only” model." As explained by NPR, the plaintiffs, Students for Fair Admissions, believe “Harvard uses ‘racial balancing’ as part of its formula for admitting students and that the practice is illegal.”
The Atlantic makes the more subtle point that it may actually be implicit biases and stereotypes skewing these subjective personality ratings, rather than affirmative action and racial considerations outright.