Staff Editorial: Affirmative action puts Guilford’s core values in action

Guilford College is guided by seven core values: community, diversity, equality, excellence, integrity, justice and stewardship. Recently, two cases have been brought to the Supreme Court, one from Harvard and one from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill), which conflict with our core values of community and equality. 

Affirmative action is defined by Cornell Law School as “a set of procedures designed to eliminate unlawful discrimination among applicants, remedy the results of such prior discrimination and prevent such discrimination in the future.”

On Monday, Jan. 24, the United States Supreme Court will hear challenges to policies of race-based affirmative action at Harvard and UNC-Chapel Hill. As a newspaper guided by our seven core values, it is important to commit ourselves to reporting on stories that align with or challenge these views.

We stand by affirmative action, as it places many groups of people on an equal playing field when it comes to college admissions. If the courts reverse the decision made back in 2003 in the case of Grutter v. Bollinger, which allowed for schools to diversify classes using race as a factor, then the precedent set by multiple cases in the past will be brought into question.

We stand behind UNC-Chapel Hill spokeswoman Beth Keith, who spoke to the Wall Street Journal on behalf of the institution: “As the trial court held, our process is consistent with long-standing Supreme Court precedent and allows for an evaluation of each student in a deliberate and thoughtful way,” she said.

This precedent has been considered in the admissions processes of many colleges and universities, and if the courts decide to overturn this decision, many schools in the future may reconsider their admissions decisions. However, this is yet to be seen. 

The Guilfordian believes it is important to add our voice to this discussion, and hopes to foster conversations around affirmative action. Not only will these conversations among community members increase awareness about the issue, but they will bring different points of view into the light.

Editor’s Note: This staff editorial is part of the Opinion section content for Volume 108, Issue 10 of The Guilfordian, published on Feb. 6, 2022.