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Thursday December 2nd

UNC files response to SFFA motion for summary judgement

(From left to right) Political committee member Daniel Kang, President Anna Hattle and Senior Advisor Jessie Huang of the Asian American Student Association prepare to address the members of the organization in Bingham Hall on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019.
Buy Photos (From left to right) Political committee member Daniel Kang, President Anna Hattle and Senior Advisor Jessie Huang of the Asian American Student Association prepare to address the members of the organization in Bingham Hall on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019.

UNC’s affirmative action case is moving forward as the University files a response to the group suing the school on account of its admission practices. 

Yesterday, UNC filed their response to Students for Fair Admissions’ motion for summary judgement, arguing that the group has repeatedly misrepresented the facts. 

The SFFA is suing UNC for racial bias in its application process against students who are white or of Asian descent. The group filed for summary judgment in January — a process in which both sides submit a brief detailing their arguments to the judge. The judge then decides whether or not to proceed with a trial. 

In their motion for summary judgment, the SFFA argued that UNC failed to consider race-neutral alternatives and that readers evaluate test scores differently based on the applicants race. They argue that UNC highlights race as a key factor for admission, while the University claims they do not. 

UNC’s response reasserts the University’s stance that its admissions process serves a compelling interest due to the educational benefits of diversity and that their process is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest.

“SFFA’s description of the University’s admissions process reflects numerous evidentiary mischaracterizations and hinges on isolated documents that do not accurately reflect the process or are otherwise taken out of context," UNC's response reads. "This 'evidence' cannot properly support summary judgment.”

SFFA’s argument has received backlash from UNC’s Asian American Student Association, which voted to sign an amicus brief with other Asian American groups supporting UNC in the case.

"There is this idea that affirmative action hurts Asian Americans,” said junior and AASA member Daniel Kang at the group's meeting about the amicus brief last week. “I think it's pretty powerful when Asian Americans stand in solidarity with other underrepresented minority groups to basically affirm the fact that there is historic and systematic racism, and that we do stand in solidarity with them.”

The Supreme Court has repeatedly approved the use of race in the college application process. SFFA argues that UNC goes too far in its process, saying that its practices are not only unfair, but unconstitutional. The group is also suing Harvard University. 

university@dailytarheel.com

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