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ORU's "affirmative action" policy

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Affirmative action has given many minorities opportunities they wouldn't otherwise have had. But last week, President Bush came out against the way the University of Michigan admits minority students.

The Bush administration says it’s unconstitutional because it fails the test of equal protection under the law. News on Six reporter Patrina Adger talked with one local university about its policies.

For years, some colleges and universities have used certain criteria to determine the best students to admit to their school.

More than two decades ago, the US Supreme Court ruled schools shouldn't use racial quotas when admitting students, but yet say a diverse campus is ideal. So, should universities look at race or merit when it comes to choosing potential students? Robert Karloh, student, "I think it should be based on merit and should be open to people of every background with a common standard not just race being a criteria for admission."

Donnie Staggs, student, "I think it puts African Americans and the Latino community in a position where they don't have to strive intellectually or academically."

Oral Roberts University says they don't have an affirmative action policy here because they don't see a need for it. Minority students make up close to 25% of the student body, 17% of those are African American.

And the director of undergraduate admissions, Chris Belcher, says they naturally attract students from all over the world. "We're somewhat unique in that ORU is born out of a ministry that really relates to many different cultures and races."

Belcher says the university uses the standard admission for everyone, and considers test scores and the applicant’s involvement in church and community activities. He says when it comes to whether schools should have affirmative action policies, “I do believe students need to be given a chance. I think that's what makes us unique. These differences bring different things to the table from different countries of ethnic groups that's what makes us the melting pot of the world."

Patrina Adger tried to contact other universities about their policies but they did not return her phone calls. However, the University of Tulsa sent an e-mail saying "TU does not use a rating system in its recruitment practices but bases decisions on individual merit."
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