Between the Lines
Two weeks ago, I finally registered to vote. It was anticlimactic, though, and not just because I had to wait until the envelope with my registration forms reached my county’s board of elections. It was anticlimactic because I had no real excitement about the process.
In the debate around the role of “affirmative action” in college admissions, it is worth lingering on the term itself. I think it holds the most central, but too infrequently asked, question in this debate: What should still be affirmed by admissions?
Can college be a home? We often jump to thinking about ways to make college more of a home for students. But let’s not put the cart before the horse. This question hinges on what the definition of “home” should be, which can and does vary widely.
At work this summer, everything was a networking opportunity — from the official socializing events that had “networking” in the title to the random run-ins with senior staff while standing in the lunch line. Networking was so important that we could clock it in. The emphasis was mildly uncomfortable, but not because I didn’t enjoy meeting people whose careers I admired and whose opinions I wanted to hear. The term “networking” just didn’t feel right.
I suppose that as an Asian American, I would qualify as a recipient of this exemption. While that could be convenient, I don’t think I — or any other person of color — should deserve such an exemption. I’m sure, for example, that I can be racist (I imagine some might call me that from reading this column), and I’d like to be engaged in conversation if I mess up, perhaps by making a distasteful remark.