Affirmative Action the Motivation for NCSU Protest
Posted April 6, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — A group of NC State students believes in affirmative action and wants it upheld in their school. UNC system president, Molly Broad, wants to eliminate race-based policies. The students believe that is wrong. Now they're taking a stand.
Some students want a firm commitment from university leaders that affirmative action will remain intact, or even expanded. But not all students agree that quotas are the best way to fill a freshman class.
Two hundred NC State students walked from campus to the capitol Monday, campaigning to keep race-based programs in place.
Ricky Livingston participated in the march. He wants to ensure that qualified students from unrepresented groups in our community have access.
Students are delivering their message to university leaders and the legislature. The 16 University of North Carolina schools are currently re-assessing their affirmative action programs.
"I think it would be a mistake to de-emphasize diversity in our culture," explains Senator Howard Lee, "but I'm not sure these policies are necessary for us to have diversity."
Though hundreds of students walked in support of affirmative action, not all students agree with race-based programs.
"I know people who got poor SAT's who happened to be black and got into Chapel Hill," Matt Nikkari said, "and I got good scores, and I didn't get in to Chapel Hill."
A recent WRAL Mason-Dixon poll shows 38% of registered North Carolina voters favor affirmative action, 54% oppose it. When the numbers are broken down by race, 27% of white voters support affirmative action, compared to 83% of black voters.