Asian Americans for Education Letter to Carol Christ / University of California

Yukong Zhao:

On behalf of the Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE), an alliance of over 100 Asian- American organizations in advancing the cause of equal education rights, I am writing to express our outrage at your statement on steering your university toward becoming a Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) during your welcome address on August 20. On account of lack of constitutionality and legality inherent in promoting such a goal of racial quotas, AACE strongly requests the Office of the Chancellor at the University of California, Berkeley to retract this statement:

1. Drafting your institution’s strategic plan to become a HSI directly translates into a 25% Hispanic quota in your student population, which is in clear violation of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke which ruled specific racial quotas as impermissible. Reiterated in the 2003 Supreme Court decision in Grutter v. Bollinger, this rule states that: “a race-conscious admissions program cannot use a quota system –it cannot ‘insult[e] each category of applicants with certain desired qualifications from competition with all other applicants.’”

2. Fulfilling requirements of a HSI breaches the California Constitution, of which Section I, Article 31(a) states that, “The State shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” This provision was added to the California Constitution via the passage of Proposition 209 in 1996.