A group suing Harvard charging the university is discriminating against Asian American applicants is demanding that the college publicly release its admissions records.
Students for Fair Admissions alleges the Ivy League institution has an illegal quota system, reported the Hindustan Times.
Harvard, spokeswoman Rachel Dane told the New York Times “Harvard College does not discriminate against applicants from any group in its admissions processes. We will continue to vigorously defend the right of Harvard, and other universities, to seek the educational benefits that come from a class that is diverse on multiple dimensions.”
Harvard has insisted that they must preserve the privacy of their applicants’ personal information and the details of their admission process.
The university expressed its concern that releasing any details of their admissions process “would put Harvard at a severe competitive disadvantage” and would allow students a chance at using rules of the system to their own benefit.
Students for Fair Admissions countered this argument saying that in the past Harvard has denied the existence of any formula for their admissions process, yet numerous books on the subject have concluded the opposite. They want the records they were shown privately to be released publicly. They are also asking the judge to rule against Harvard without a trial.
“The public has a right to know exactly what is going on at Harvard,” said the plaintiff’s attorney, William S. Consovoy. “Even if this were a commercial issue — as Harvard would like to portray it — the public would have a right to know if the product is defective or if a fraud is being perpetrated.”
The lawsuit includes more than a dozen Asian American students who were rejected by Harvard. The suit has split the Asian American community, with most long established Asian American groups, opposing the lawsuit. Some 130 Asian American groups in 2015 issued a statement in support of affirmative action.
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