Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina was heard by the Supreme Court of the United States on Monday, after eight years of lower court decisions and appeals.
The case focuses on affirmative action in college admissions — the practice of considering an applicant's race as a factor in admission decisions.
Students for Fair Admissions argued that affirmative action should no longer be a part of the admissions process. The group is also suing Harvard College, which faced oral arguments on Monday following UNC-CH.
This morning, students from around the country gathered in front of the Supreme Court steps to express their views on affirmative action. Holding signs and wearing teal shirts that read “Defend Diversity,” students from both Harvard and UNC-CH gave speeches and rallied in support of race being considered in college admissions.
UNC first-year Christina Huang is one of the four co-leaders of UNC for Affirmative Action, a student-led organization. She made the 270-mile drive from Chapel Hill, N.C. to Washington D.C., to stand up for affirmative action alongside other UNC students. She said that coming to defend affirmative action was very significant to her as a student.
“Affirmative action is important,” Huang said. “It’s the reason why UNC-CH has its diversity, why it has its culture, why I came to UNC. We need to preserve these opportunities of equal education and experiences of diversity and culture on campus for future students.”
Huang and UNC sophomore Joy Jiang — another co-leader of the club — both spoke at the rally alongside representatives from the The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The committee works to represent a diverse group of students from both UNC-CH and Harvard throughout the ongoing lawsuit.
UNC alumnus Star Wingate-Bey, who graduated in 2016, is a student intervener for the committee. In her role, Wingate-Bey has shared her firsthand experiences as a student of color with the public over the past six years.
She said that SFFA's argument does not include testimonials from actual clients or BIPOC students on campus.