Editorial: Court: Decision is Deadly

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Proposition 209 may soon claim another victim: the vitality and diversity of the UC system.

The State Supreme Court handed down a decision last week prohibiting public agencies from gearing recruitment and outreach programs toward minorities and women. This interpretation of Prop. 209, which bans the use of affirmative action in public hiring and admissions in California, has little to do with pre-admission minority recruitment efforts and should therefore not offset the critical work of the UC campuses.

It is a travesty that an electricity company's lawsuit against a San Jose public agency will impact the UC. Applying a construction standard to education is regrettable in and of itself, but more so for destroying the UC's reputation for diversity and equality.

In the wake of Prop. 209, The Daily Californian supports minority recruitment and retention programs for helping to maintain diversity on this campus under whatever law.

Minority enrollment at UC Berkeley is half of what it was before 1996. With UC diversity already threatened by this downward trend, how is the best public education system in the country supposed to remain competitive with private institutions that do not have to abide by Prop. 209?

There may be little the university can do to remedy the court's decision; nevertheless, both the university and the state must commit to decreasing the statewide achievement gap in public education.


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