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UNC Studying Affirmative Action, Education

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CHAPEL HILL — Recently, affirmative action andeducation programs have been successfully challenged in California, Texasand Maryland, where race-based admissions were struck down.The President of the University of North Carolina system wants to look atthe way minority students receive special treatment in our state.

Unfortunately, UNC System President, Molly Broad, was unavailablefor comment for this story due to an out-of-town engagement, but aspokesperson says Broad's decision to review affirmative actionis not a prelude to abandoning or backing away from programs alreadyin place. Rather, it is an effort to make sure the University system is onfirm legal ground.

For many students, however, the mere mention of the study has raisedconcerns.

For 25 years the UNC system has enjoyed a growth in diversity among itsstudents -- a diversity that affirmative action efforts helped create.

Now, Broad has ordered a review of the policies and says those basedsolely on race should be reformed or abolished. Some students agree.

Race-based scholarships are the centerpiece of the system'saffirmative action programs. They are not just for black students; they are also for white students who attend historically black universities.

Students in groups such as the Black student movement and Alliance forCreating CampusEquity and Seeking Social Justice (ACCESS) say all affirmative actionpolicies should be maintained.

Broad said she wants to keep the scholarships in place, as wellas admissions policies that aim to diversify the campuses. She adds thatshe wants changes to any program not specifically set out in thedesegregation agreement, or approved by the General Assembly.

Photographer:Joe Frieda