Racism over, ‘merit’ to rule college admissions

SHARE Racism over, ‘merit’ to rule college admissions

Two college hunts. Back to back without pause. Even before our high school senior was parading around in a new T-shirt for his future alma mater, we had already begun to aid our junior’s search. Down to Urbana. Up to Milwaukee.

I suppose some, perhaps many, parents are absentee in this process. Many parents are absentee, period. But we nudged them this far, can’t stop now. So yes, 16 campus visits and counting; 16 speeches of welcome from 16 perky administrators or student hosts. And 16 versions of the following:

“We are looking for a dynamic, diverse student body. Tell us who you really are, your unique skills and excellence. Because some years, we need a trumpet player in the band, so we wave a few trumpet players in.”

Last month at Marquette, a student greeter said something like, “We have students from 49 out of 50 states …” then added, “so if you know somebody from North Dakota, tell ’em to apply.” Everyone laughed. At least I thought it was Marquette; maybe it was U of I; these things blend.

Either way, is that fair? Should anyone who can complete a form in North Dakota trump some hard-working kid from Illinois or Missouri just to fill a hole in Marquette’s promotional graphic? Of course not. But that is how the strange, random, mysterious, unfair, unscientific, skewed, debated and complex college admissions process works.

A system that just got stranger, more random, etc. Tuesday, as the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Michigan constitutional amendment that says public colleges there can’t consider race or sex when admitting students. Trumpet-playing yes, football ability, definitely. Volunteering, yes. Scores on tests designed to reward certain kinds of smarts? Absolutely. Race and gender? No.


The Latest
In exhilarating Netflix documentary, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony and others share memories of rebuilding Team USA.
The high-stakes showdown — roughly a month ahead of the election — covered abortion, guns and crime; Pritzker’s handling of the pandemic, and the state’s financial ledgers. But the fast — and at times scattershot — pacing often left viewers without answers about where the candidates stood on those key issues.
Here’s how you can watch in person or from your couch, track a runner, plus tips on how to successfully maneuver around the city during the marathon Sunday.
The man, 18, was walking in the 4700 block of South Ashland Avenue about 9 p.m. Thursday when someone in a passing vehicle shot him, police said.