This article was originally published in The Daily Princetonian by Jessica Li on March 25, 2015
In a letter to University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 on March 19, the president of the advocacy group Students for Fair Admissions, Edward Blum, asked the University to preserve its student admission records and to restore these documents if any part had been destroyed.
The letter was in response to an article by the New Republic reporting that Yale Law School had destroyed its admission records, Blum said.
University spokesperson Martin Mbugua said Eisgruber had not yet seen the letter.
A letter was also sent to every Ivy League college’s president except Harvard’s, because Students for Fair Admissions is suing Harvard for allegedly discriminating against students of Asian descent in its admission process.
The goal of Students for Fair Admissions is to have race become a non-factor in college admissions, according to the group’s website.
“It should go without saying that Princeton cannot destroy evidence essential to judicial review of its admissions policies and expect to withstand strict scrutiny if and when its admissions policies are challenged in court,” the letter read, particularly for “racially discriminatory policies and procedures in administering undergraduate admissions.”
The organization provided legal counsel to Abigail Fisher, a white applicant who was rejected from the University of Texas at Austin and is the namesake of the Supreme Court decision Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, Blum noted. Fisher lost her argument that the University of Texas’ affirmative action policies were illegal.
“Our concerns about the FERPA is that students should have access to their records, even if we had never written these letters and expressed our concerns, students should still be concerned that their records are being destroyed,” said Blum.
Blum declined to comment on whether he intends to subpoena evidence from the University for legal cases.
“The question of diversity is one that needs some explanation,” Blum said. “Is there some benefit in extending cosmetic diversity among the student body? I think my answer is that cosmetic diversity doesn’t mean anything, if it does, then our civil rights movement has regressed.”
Making decisions based on the color of students’ skin when they have the same socioeconomic background brings only a minute benefit to campuses, Blum said.
He added that the lawsuit against Harvard University is one of the most complex in the history of affirmative action litigation.
“Harvard is doing two things outside of written law,” Blum said. “Harvard has hard fast intractable quota for the number of Asians [admitted], [and] Harvard has ratio balancing policies, the outcome of which is that every year just about the same percentage of four major racial groups [are admitted].”
These two practices are unconstitutional and Blum hopes to prove that in court, he said.
Read the original article here.