Alabama leaders react to the overturning of affirmative action policy

Alabama leaders from both major political parties are weighing in on the Supreme Court's decision to overturn affirmative action policy.
Published: Jun. 29, 2023 at 5:23 PM EDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in college admissions. This means race can no longer play a role in the admissions process, thus forcing institutions of higher education to look for new ways to achieve diverse student bodies.

Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell was the first to comment on this major ruling.

Admission policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina schools were challenged by a group called Students for Fair Admissions.

Alabama native Rotimi Kukoyi is a sophomore at UNC.

“I think the UNC is unique,” said Kukoyi. “The Black community itself has created a space and culture that’s just so vibrant and thriving, and I saw that, and I wanted to be a part of it.”

Before choosing UNC, Kukoyi was accepted to multiple Ivy League Schools. He started posting TikToks about the college application process to help other prospects.

“I was able to do a lot for free. But the fact is, for most students, that’s not the case, especially the students at these highly selective and competitive schools, especially at these Ivy League schools,” he said.

With affirmative action overturned, he says his posts are needed even more.

“These are colleges that offer merit scholarships. This is how you should write your activity description,” said Kukoyi.

State leaders had various reactions to how the court’s ruling will impact Ivy Leagues.

In May 2022, Attorney General Marshall joined a coalition of 19 states supporting the challengers’ cases before the Supreme Court.

“Students that are going to be hurt most by these affirmative action rulings,” said Kukoyi. “Those students are the students that are not accessing these wealth-tied opportunities and guidance.”

Alabama’s House Minority Leader Rep. Anthony Daniels, D-Madison County, says he believes race shouldn’t be the main factor but should be a factor in admission.

“We want diversity and inclusion of all people to be able to have a shot and opportunity. But my social, economic status should not necessarily warrant me getting whether I get accepted or not,” he said.

And Kukoyi is bracing himself for the impact of the ruling as he continues his educational career.

“I just keep having this vision in my head of a black convocation. But the rows of empty seats, high-quality, and that’s awful,” he said.

Due to this ruling University of North Carolina and other schools have to reshape their admissions practices, especially top schools that are more likely to consider the race of applicants.

The Alabama Higher Education Partnership also reacted to the decision.

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