Controversy Over California Universities’ Admissions to Asians

This article was originally published on June 20, 2020.

A few days ago, an account named, “asianstudentsatrisk”, formerly known as “asianstudentsmatter”, claimed in an Instagram post that The Assembly Constitutional Amendment No.5 (ACA-5) will now only permit 12% of Asians into UC Universities compared to the 42% that they used to admit. The post brought an uproar from many, who then began signing petitions against this amendment, with more than 120,000 onboard. The post stated, “This bill is discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to individuals or groups based on race, gender, color, ethnicity, or national origin. Therefore, it violates the US constitution.” Many were upset about this news and the way the UC Universities were treating the Asian Communities.

However, with many using the hashtag #asianstudentsmatter, signing petitions, and reposting to share the word, there were others who began finding a few faults within the Instagram post. One specific account with the username @tranuwu stated in a comment of their own post, “Recently, an account named @/asianstudentsatrisk (was previously @/asianstudentsmatter) has been gaining momentum and support from the Asian communities after spreading a plethora of false information without any sufficient evidence.” The account claimed that the conclusions the account @asianstudentsmatter drew had no real proof to back up their statements. @tranuwu says, “The UCs have always conducted a holistic review and evaluate applications on 14 factors. There is no single factor that solely determines admission.” They wanted to point out the fact that the primary argument of the post wasn’t factual and that the UC Universities’ way of determining who would be accepted wouldn’t rely simply on the person’s race, as implied by @/asianstudentsatrisk.

The account “gahbeev” stated in a post, “What ACA-5 actually does is repeal Article 1, Section 31 of the California Constitution, now permitting the use of race and gender as deciding factors in public employment, public education, and public contracting.” This was to debunk the previous statements and how they were misunderstanding the bill. Also, @tranuwu insisted that there was no reason for people to believe that they would be admitting sub-par non-Asians over better equipped Asians. They also reminded others that @/asianstudentsatrisk statements about non-Asians who were “less qualified” seems to suggest that Asians are more qualified or competent compared to non-Asians, a kind of “model minority” saying. In this time with much racial prejudice and discrimination, adding fire to fire by saying Asians are more deserving of college spots isn’t helpful.

Further, @tranuwu also remarked that previously titling their Instagram account name asianstudentsmatter, they show a division between black and Asian people, with the recent Black Lives Matter movement which many found to be creating an even bigger divide between ethnicities. The fight for racial equality shouldn’t be exemplified in a way that almost disagrees or goes against the Black Lives Matter movement. The fight shouldn’t be putting your own race as higher than one suffering currently, and through the wording of @/asianstudentsatrisk, it appeared to be that way.

Another account, @anniegxie, states, “Racial quotas such as these were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Regents of University of California v. Bakke (1978).” They were showing how the statements claimed by @/asianstudentsatrisk were not correct and therefore shouldn’t be relied on.

That being said, some are still greatly appalled by the racism exemplified with this bill being passed. One account, @sunjaypoliticalbs, commented on a post, “Ignore the 12% and 42% statistic, that part is incorrect. However, the ACA-5 bill will make it more difficult for Asians to get into public universities in California.” The account @/asianstudentsatrisk showed where they got the 12% quota from, but it seemed to still not be completely accurate. However, though some of the information may be factually incorrect, some still believe it could still be a deterrent to Asians applying to UC Universities and are outraged by it. Though the situation is slightly unclear, numerous people are angry at the bill, while others believe the logic of @/asianstudentsatrisk post is flawed and shouldn’t be followed. With how the year 2020 has gone by so far, this can be seen as another perfect example of division in our society.