Harvard’s woke student newspaper claims limiting applicants to 200-words penalizes students from ‘marginalized backgrounds’
Harvard’s woke student newspaper claims limiting applicants to 200 words penalizes students from ‘marginalized backgrounds’
Harvard’s student newspaper has claimed that a new admissions test is racist and discriminatory because the 200-word essay limit does not give applicants from “non-traditional backgrounds” enough room to explain themselves.
This week’s The Crimson, run by Cara Chang, published an opinion piece written by the editors.
They argued that replacing the previous optional open-ended essay and the two optional short essays with five mandatory 200-word segments was discriminatory.
“The shortening of the essays has a disparate impact that falls most heavily on people from marginalized backgrounds,” the board wrote.
‘Learning to pack yourself into a shorter space is a product of further education; longer essays provide a more honest opportunity for applicants to fully discuss their experiences, especially if they come from non-traditional backgrounds and need more space to develop nuanced qualifications.”
The University of Cambridge, Massachusetts has revamped the way it handles admissions
Cara Chang, president of The Harvard Crimson
In contrast, the authors argue that “longer essays allow applicants to more honestly discuss their experiences fully, especially if they come from non-traditional backgrounds and need more space to elaborate on nuanced qualifications.”
They argue that ‘trauma dumping’ is acceptable and define it as ‘explaining how past life experiences have shaped who you are’.
“Those who have lived through traumatic experiences should not fear that writing about the experiences that shaped them may seem like a plea for recognition,” they say.
The board adds that some questions are also flawed.
The authors point to the question: “Briefly describe an intellectual experience that was important to you.”
They write, “This question seemingly privileges candidates from well-resourced backgrounds for whom additional academic opportunities were plentiful in high school.”
Two members of the Harvard editorial board, Ruby JJ Huang and Joshua Ochieng, disagreed with their colleagues and contributed to a dissenting opinion.
Joshua Ochieng pushed back against the idea that a series of five 200-word essays was discriminatory
Huang and Ochieng argue that the new five short essays actually make Harvard more accessible.
“The new five prompts ask applicants to talk about different aspects of themselves, from their intellectual interests, extracurricular activities and family responsibilities to their life experiences,” they write.
“These clues provide clear clues about what Harvard wants to know about its applicants.
“For a student with limited experience writing an application, the prompts ease the burden of trying to determine which aspects of their life are important to Harvard.”
And they argue that it’s an oversimplification to say that shorter essays are harder to create.
“Writing is an idiosyncratic process that will require different skills from different people, depending on a host of factors,” they say.
“For some, brevity may be necessary to get the point across, while for others, a little explanation can make the point.”
The discussion came after the Supreme Court’s decision in June to end affirmative action in college applications — seen by supporters as one of the key achievements of the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
As a result, universities can no longer consider the race or ethnicity of applicants as they attempt to correct long-standing inequities stemming from America’s segregationist past, aiming to enroll Black, Hispanic, and Native American students. encourage Americans.
Universities are now grappling with the question of how to make their student base more diverse within the law.