Students Unite Now is in favor of certain expressions of discrimination but not others. Students Unite Now likes criteria that discriminate in favor of nonlegacy applicants but dislikes criteria that discriminate in favor of legacy applicants.
In order to qualify as being politically correct, Students Unite Now’s expressed preferences must be based on one or both of the following statements:
Legacy applicants constitute a suspect group that should be limited in admission to Yale, and legacy as a criterion is an irrational and invidious discrimination against nonlegacy applicants and is not based on any demonstrable, morally rational benefit to Yale and its core mission: to provide an excellent education to smart people.
Nonlegacy applicants deserve to be admitted over legacy applicants because most of the legacy applicants come from privileged rich families, and it is Yale’s mission to right the wrongs of the social order.
Logic, history and the plain facts toss both of these justifications onto the scrap heap of the intellectually deficient.
Some facts, history, and logic:
The offspring of all students who graduate from Yale qualify as legacy applicants. These days the typical graduating class is 53 percent nonwhite, 48 percent female and 57 percent on financial aid. The granting of legacy status to their offspring will as a matter of mathematical certainty increase, not decrease, minority enrollment.
Legacy applicants have higher admission test scores than nonlegacy applicants, suggesting they will do better than average at Yale regardless of their ethnic or socioeconomic backgrounds.
Most legacy applicants do not qualify for financial aid but rather pay full freight to the direct benefit of the aforementioned 57 percent.
Legacy families are more likely to make large donations to Yale — again, critical to Yale’s ability to admit the aforementioned 57 percent.
Admission preferences for athletes discriminate against all applicants who are not athletically inclined. The latter group encompasses about 90 percent of applicants. The vast majority of Yale athletic admission preferences go to white people. Athletes are not given preference in order to solve social ills but rather to increase alumni donations through the rah-rah-go-Bulldogs-march-march-on-down-the-field nostalgia that opens up purse strings. Ditto the legacy program. Should Yale cease granting admission points to athletes as well as to legacy applicants? If not, why not?
James Luce ’66