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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

President Sawyer’s Response to the End of Affirmative Action in Admissions

The Supreme Court has reversed affirmative action over the summer. What does this mean for Loyola and its admissions process?
Samantha Jones

In June, The Supreme Court repealed Affirmative Action across the country for all higher education institutions. Loyola’s President, Terry Sawyer, J.D., says he is not surprised by the ruling, but that the university will remain committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice regardless of court rulings.

“I believe that the way I’ve seen this community rally around the commitment to diversity is by celebrating the fact that we have a diverse community that we are all enriched by and better for. That has affirmed that we are committed to this, whether the law says we need to be or not. We are committed to it because it is a part of our mission and it’s in our hearts,” Sawyer said. 

Cornell Law School defines affirmative action as a series of regulations set up to prevent and eliminate discrimination against an applicant, specifically on the basis of race, creed, color, and national origin. This can apply to admissions to educational institutions or professional employment. 

According to NPR, the Students for Fair Admissions sued Harvard University and UNC-Chapel Hill this year claiming that the schools discriminated against Asian American students because of the inconsistent statistics between SAT scores and enrollment.  

Sawyer says the decision will have less of an impact on Loyola because Loyola’s enrollment and admission process is based on a holistic approach and does not solely take race into account for admission. 

“We, Loyola, and most institutions like Loyola do not use race as a sole criterion. We use a holistic approach to admit students,” he said. 

According to CBS News, The Supreme Court voted 6-3 and 6-2 to dismantle affirmative action from all public and private universities and colleges after being presented with lawsuits against Harvard University and UNC-Chapel Hill. The majority included Chief Justices John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, and Neil Gorsuch. Justice John Roberts wrote the majority for both cases and said that affirmative action interferes with the Equal Protection Clause. 

“Respondents’ race-based admissions systems also fail to comply with the Equal Protection Clause’s twin commands that race may never be used as a ‘negative’ and that it may not operate as a stereotype,” said Roberts. 

Sawyer says while Loyola can no longer explicitly consider an applicant’s race in admissions, it does not prevent Loyola from trying to yield the most diverse class from its admission pool.

Over the past four years, Loyola has welcomed the four most diverse classes in its history, including the class of 2027. Sawyer said that the university will continue to fight and work toward diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.

“We are going to continue to make sure we are recruiting in areas and have intentional recruiting strategies that recruit diverse populations. We will also continue to yield strategies that help produce outcomes that produce diverse student bodies,” Sawyer said. 

He added the university will continue to celebrate and underscore the importance of having a diverse student body as a Jesuit Catholic institution.

 “We need at Loyola to make sure that we do everything that we can do to ensure that our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice prevails.”

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