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April 02, 2003 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-04-02

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LAWSUITS

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 3, 2003 - 5

Legislators
find way to
court steps
for heanng
By Jeremy Berkowitz
Daily Staff Reporter
WASHINGTON - Along with 10,000
demonstrators in the city, several members of
Congress made the short walk from their
Capitol Hill offices to the area around the
Supreme Court yesterday to either listen to
oral arguments in Grutter v. Bollinger and
Gratz v. Bollinger or
express their support for
the University's race-con-
scious admissions at vari-
ous press conferences and
rallies.
Students Supporting
Affirmative Action - a
coalition of several Univer-
sity student groups - held
a rally on Constitution
Avenue yesterday. They Conyers
were joined by members of Michigan's con-
gressional delegation and other politicians.
Two main speakers included long-time
U.S. Reps. John Dingell (D-Dearborn) and
John Conyers (D-Detroit). The representa-
tives directed criticism
toward the Bush adminis-
tration for speaking out
against the University's
admissions policies in
January.
"This is April Fools Day
and I'm telling you it's
going to be an April Fool's
Day for the folks on the
other side of the Supreme
Court," Dingell declared to Stabenow
a cheering crowd. "We want equality in the
United States and we want diversity at the
(University)."
"I would have gone to the University of
Michigan but they didn't have affirmative
action," Conyers told the
crowd, adding that he pre-
dicts a close victory for the
University in these cases.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D- y
Calif.), who unsuccessfully
fought against her state's
Proposition 209 - a state T
constitutional amendment
banning affirmative action
- when she served in the
California State Legisla- Lee
ture in 1995. She warned the crowd that the
danger of the nation's schools becoming as
segregated as California's would grow if the
court ruled against the University.
But Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing)
said that if the University suffers a loss, the
civil rights movement and the hope for equali-
ty in schools will not die. "We simply will re-
crack and re-debate and move again,"
Stabenow said. "We've all got a stake in what
happens."
Two Congressional Black Caucus members
made an appearance on the steps of the court
after attending both hearings. Reps. Sheila
Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) and Maxine Waters
(D-Calif.) expressed a lack of faith in conser-
vative members of the Rehnquist Court and
the Bush administration.
Jackson-Lee said she was horrified by some
of the questions asked by the justices, as well
as by Solicitor General Theodore Olsen
speaking in conjunction with the plaintiffs,
which she said wasted taxpayers' money.
"It was evident in the courtroom that race
will continue to be a decisive factor," Jack-
son-Lee said. "(Minority groups) always
become a stepping stone for anyone's com-
plaints."

Jackson-Lee added that if the court rules
against the University, the Bush administra-
tion should no longer be in power. "My
prayers are with the (court) and the Bush
administration," she said.
Waters said if the government continues to
be apathetic in helping minorities, she hopes
to rely on supporters of the University such as
the business community to continue to spread
racial diversity.
"The hope for my people does not simply
lie within these justices," Waters said.

Diverse groups of supporters
organize Washington rallies

Several thousand affirmative action
activists turn out for BAM N's national
march on Washington
By Andrew Kaplan
and Emily Kraack
Daily Staff Reporters
WASHINGTON - Supporters of affirmative action
swarmed the steps of the Supreme Court and the Lin-
coln Memorial yesterday as justices heard oral argu-
ments over the University's use of race in admissions.
They marched, cheered and brandished signs embla-
zoned with slogans such as "Save Brown v. Board of
Education!" and "Don't turn back the clock!"
Marchers represented a variety of ages, races and
political organizations.m
While University students "Denying afl
attended the protest by the hun-
dreds, they constituted a mere action return
fraction of the several thousand Romanic cult
activists. They traveled from an A
array of states, including Califor- makes our W(
nia and New York, to push the mis-educates
cases Gratz v. Bollinger and
Grutter v. Bollinger as issues of to us.
national concern.
"This is only the beginning," "Angry'
said Intea Deohields, a freshman
at Baltimore's Morgan State Uni-
versity, a historically black college.
"These are our brothers and sisters that will benefit
in the long run, and us who will benefit from affirma-
tive action," she said, referring to the thousands of pro-
testers gathered at the rallies that day.
Students commuted to Washington - some driving
through the night - to arrive at the courthouse with
activists from several university organizations, includ-
ing the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People, the Coalition for Equal Opportunity
and the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and

Integration and Fight for Equality By Any Means Nec-
essary.
"Our group was the first bus to get here," said Bianca
Hutchinson, a BAMN rally organizer from Bowling
Green State University, citing high attendance at the rally.
"It's going really well. (BAMN) had a goal of 250,000,
the same as the 1963 Martin Luther King speech. We've
exceeded that and people are still coming."
In addition to college students, the rallies included a
multitude of social groups such as Angry White Men
for Affirmative Action.
"Angry White Man" Allan Creighton, from Oakland,
Calif., said his group supports using race as an admis-
sions factor because it improves the quality of education.
"Denying affirmative action returns us to Romanic
culture," he said. "It makes our world smaller, mis-edu-
cates us, even lies to us."

mnative
sus to
ure.... It
orld smaller,
- even lies
- Allan Creighto
White Men" membe

But after the protests shifted to
the memorial in the afternoon,
high school activists became par-
ticularly outspoken.
"If African Americans want to
go to a good college, we won't be
able to get in if they drop affir-
mative action," said Burry Bag-
well, a senior at Woodrow Wilson
High School in Washington.
Bagwell added that his plans to
attend the Art Institute of Fort
Lauderdale, Fla. could be shat-
tered if the court strikes down

r

the University's use of race in admissions.
"If they drop affirmative action, we could lose out on
going to college," he said.
Building on events of the 1960s, students said they
saw their task of defending race-conscious admissions
as the fruition of social movements begun by Dr. Mar-
tin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
"We must go beyond what the last Civil Rights Move-
ment did," Detroit Cass Technical High School student
Liana Mulholland said. "We can do what they did not
dare to do."

Photos compiled from AP and FRANK PAYNE/Daily

Universities look for alternatives to
race-conscious admissions policies

[Artistic critics

The Associated Press
Many colleges and universities that use race
as a factor in admissions already are looking at
alternatives in case the U.S. Supreme Court out-
laws such policies. Justices heard arguments
over the University of Michigan's admissions
standards yesterday, but the case took years to
make it to the high court.
With that and other lawsuits working their
way through the legal system, "public and pri-
vate institutions have been looking at contin-
gency plans over the past several years," said
Sheldon Steinbach, the general counsel for the
American Council on Education.
If race can no longer be used as a factor in

would help maintain campus diversity in a post-
affirmative action world. Part of the idea would
be to simply let families know that the goal of a
college education for their children is within
their grasp.
Many in academe are now looking to Cali-
fornia, which has had recruitment programs
since 1996, when the state's voters overturned
affirmative action in a referendum.
"There has to be emphasis on the part of the
higher education community - and the public
sector in general - to promote more academic
opportunity," said James Sandoval, vice chair-
man for student affairs at the University of Cal-
ifornia at Riverside. "That's the heart of the
problem."
Wihn ctrnna ,,,nnrit, r iraPfianitc. nim-,

income students. The University of Georgia has
also stepped up its efforts to attract minorities
after losing a court battle and dropping race
from its admission formula last year.
Moving toward what university spokesman
Tom Jackson called the "aggressive identifica-
tion" of qualified students, Georgia has estab-
lished satellite recruiting stations in minority
areas of Atlanta and the southern part of the
state. Although applications from minorities
have declined, Jackson said Georgia hopes the
number of black and Hispanics who accept
invitations to join this fall's freshman class will
allow the university to maintain a diversity rate
of 14 percent.
In emphasizing outreach and recruitment,
pnlat- inffaipi ~c ak dli Cca.lled nrverntge

I. n.I

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