New England Schools Examine Admissions after Affirmative Action Ruling

College and university officials locally say in light of this week’s Supreme Court ruling about affirmative action they are taking a close look at their admissions policies.

The  7-1 ruling called on the lower courts to examine the law more closely. While  affirming what the majority called the benefits of diversity the decision stated that schools must show that no racially-neutral alternative exists when using race as a deciding factor. David Stawasz, spokesman for Western New England University says the school has no plans to change admissions practices. He says the school’s policy is to evaluate applicants on academic performance.

“Somebody doesn’t get credit for being a particular group or race or ethnicity. We try to reach that diversity without a specific affirmative action program.”

UMass Amherst Spokesman Ed Blaguszewski says the university looks at applicants broadly with race being one factor. 

“But no one here is selected based on race, they are viewed as students with a range of backgrounds and experiences and ultimately they’re selected because we believe they can succeed here.”

Blaguszewski says UMass is watching how the case unfolds, but for now he is confident that admissions practices admit a diverse group of students while remaining within the law.