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Campus groups debateaffirmative action's worth

Nov. 19, 1999

FRANK BURNS

Reporter

In a debate over affirmative action Thursday night that drew spirited reactions from the audience and debaters alike, the crowd in Kayser Auditorium designated a victory for the Association of Black Students (ABS) over the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT).

Jermaine Evans began the debate for ABS with his argument for the validity of affirmative action. He mentioned that unemployment among minorities is twice as likely as it is for Caucasians and women still make 72 percent less than men in the workplace.

'While we have come a long way, we still have not reached our goals,' Evans said.

Sherie Carr, the next speaker for ABS, stated that 79 percent of Americans promote affirmative action. She also said that 40 percent of women are college teachers but only 11 percent have tenure.

'Affirmative action should persist because discrimination persists,' Carr said.

Josh Tetens was the first to argue YCT's stance on affirmative action. He said that affirmative action usually results in hiring people who are different and usually not better. He proposed that the race of an individual should be held secret from the potential employer to ensure true equality.

ABS debater John Drake then argued that Texas colleges are losing promising minorities to other states because of the Hopwood decision that made all collegiate affirmative action unlawful. Drake told of a black student on her first day of Welcome Week at Baylor. He said the girl told him that she felt like a drop of chocolate in a glass of milk.

'Affirmative action does work,' Drake said.

Amber Kelley for YCT said that the results of affirmative action have been detrimental the job market. She proposed that the natural selection theory could be supplied to affirmative action when companies are thought of as species. She said the company would not be able to utilize the strength of its members because the applicants are not picked for the best attributes. She claimed that white males, not minorities are being discriminated against.

'How can a practice end discrimination when it is in of itself discrimination?' Kelley said.

ABS then closed its argument saying there are millions of affirmative action success stories, and that the goal of affirmative action is to give a chance to those for whom the opportunity is lacking.

YCT concluded saying the goal of affirmative action is not to prevent discrimination but to open the wounds of old. The YCT also said that just because a person is a member of a group, that does not mean that person has a specific measure of potential assigned to that group.