June 24, 2013

For U. of Texas Students, Ruling Brings Mix of Surprise and Relief

Interviewed by Libby Sander

On the Austin campus, some undergraduates said they expected a different ruling from the Supreme Court on a challenge to the university’s race-conscious admissions policy. | More on Fisher v. Texas

Joshua Tang, Government and history, 2014
Joshua Tang, Government and history, 2014

"UT students who’ve been paying close attention to this case were first and foremost concerned about the court striking down UT’s use of race in holistic admissions. But there’s a broader concern that race-conscious admissions policies could have been found unconstitutional across the nation. It’s very reassuring that the court has not done that, and that race-based admissions policies at UT and nationally are still constitutional. UT students will continue to benefit from diverse classrooms, and prospective students will continue to benefit from an admissions process that looks at them individually and that takes race into consideration as one of many factors."


Thor Lund, Mechanical engineering, 2013
Thor Lund, Mechanical engineering, 2013

"The case brought about a lot of discussion and thought about race-based admissions, but now that it’s been ruled on, I don’t see that as something people will discuss on a regular basis. Students are, from what I can tell, relieved that the court ruled the way they did. I think some of them wish they [the justices] would have made a stronger opinion. It [the decision] is just going to quell the discussion, regardless of whether you agree with what the court said. There’s more pressing issues on campus now that that’s been settled."


Samantha Robles, Social work and Spanish teaching, 2014

"I don’t think this was an opinion we expected. I was looking for a final statement for this case. This means a lot of work is ahead for us students at UT to ensure that diversity is being protected on campus."


Jarius Sowells, African and African Diaspora studies, 2014

"I was very, very scared that this was something that could have been shot down as a whole. The fact that it [the case] is going to get reconsidered and re-evaluated is an opportunity. Opponents and supporters of affirmative action should all reconsider the issue and think about it for the greater good. This is a necessity. Both should be able to come together and figure out a strategy."


Ash Hall, Psychology, 2013

"It could have been better and could have been worse. I was honestly hoping they would side with the university. It would have been great to see the Supreme Court say that race does need to be looked at in our admissions process, and that this is not a post-racism society. If the Supreme Court had ruled on the side of Fisher, it would have sent a very powerful and negative and ultimately false message that we don’t need to worry about race in our admissions system because the system is fine the way it is. That would have been a horrible message to send, and it’s simply not true, so I’m glad the Supreme Court didn’t do that. The burden appears to be on the university now. It’s still a waiting game."