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Law Panel Discusses Affirmative Action

By Beth H. Roemer

A panel discussion on affirmative action on Saturday featured five law professors from colleges around the country, all of whom agreed that the controversial policy should continue in some form.

The panel discussion, attended by more than 150 people, was part of the eighth annual Harvard Asian American Intercollegiate Conference, sponsored by the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Association (AAA).

Mediated by Alfred Yen, a professor from the Boston School of Law, the panel focused on the role of affirmative active in college admission policies.

Gabriel J. Chin, a professor at the Western College of New England School of Law said the color-blind approach to admissions is a "superficially appealing approach."

Chin, along with Sumi K. Cho, who is a professor at Chicago's De Paul University, said they supported more extensive use of affirmative action.

But not all of their fellow panelists agreed.

Akhil Amar, a professor at Yale Law School and Viet D. Dinh, a professor at Georgetown Law School were satisfied with the status quo, according to Shaw Y. Chen '99, a member of the political committee for the conference, and also a Crimson executive.

"I am for affirmative action when done right," Dinh said.

Dinh warned against the possible problem of creating different criteria based on race.

"Do we what to run in a mutual race together or...do we want to run our separate ways," said Dinh.

Chen, who was also responsible for selecting speakers for the panel, said that because the issue of affirmative action is so controversial, he chose speakers whose similar backgrounds would prevent a vitriolic confrontation.

However, he said that he was disappointed the viewpoirts expressed by the panelists were not more diverse.

Grace Sheih '98, co-president of AAA, said she was pleased with the results of the conference.

"The panel was one of the highlights of the conference," Sheih said

Dinh warned against the possible problem of creating different criteria based on race.

"Do we what to run in a mutual race together or...do we want to run our separate ways," said Dinh.

Chen, who was also responsible for selecting speakers for the panel, said that because the issue of affirmative action is so controversial, he chose speakers whose similar backgrounds would prevent a vitriolic confrontation.

However, he said that he was disappointed the viewpoirts expressed by the panelists were not more diverse.

Grace Sheih '98, co-president of AAA, said she was pleased with the results of the conference.

"The panel was one of the highlights of the conference," Sheih said

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