Explain reasons for encouraging diversity in a student body.

Libro University, a small, private university located near the town of Unitas, will be hosting a forum on affirmative action in the college admissions process. Libro University is a major employer in the area, has invited a representative from the Unitas Committee on Human Rights to participate in the forum. The university has an admissions process in which it does not have any particular quota for racial or ethnic categories, but instead it has the goal of creating a diverse student body as one of the factors in the admissions decision process. Even with this goal, the student body of Libro University is only 3% African-American and 2% Latino, which is lower than both the national and local percentages of these racial and ethnic groups. At the same time, some local conservative groups have criticized the university for having any affirmative action or diversity policy, calling it “reverse racism.” Put together some notes for yourself to prepare for the forum, covering the following issues:
  • What is diversity?
  • What are the reasons for encouraging diversity in a student body?
  • How would you describe the value of diversity in the context of education and business?
  • What are the social and economic injustices that affirmative action is meant to address (e.g., unequal access to education, past racism, or current economic disparities)? Give examples and use research to support your answers. Are these current issues or in the past?
  • Do you support the idea of encouraging diversity or affirmative action policies in this context? Explain.
Part II

Define the concept of affirmative action.

  • Do you support or oppose affirmative action in the employment of police officers? Explain.
  • Do you think affirmative action is more important in policing than in other areas of life? Explain.
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