Legacies, Legacies, Legacies...
Plus, Mikhaela gets a job! (or, to be precise, a paid 10-week internship)
As an addendum to my previous post: my best friend, Wall Street Journal staff reporter Geoffrey Fowler, wanted to know why I was so dependent on the NYTimes for my blog. So I just want to make it clear: I tend to quote the New York Times and the Associated Press and CNN, not because I think they are the ultimate in journalistic objectivity, but because they give me a sense of what's being talked about in mainstream news, and it doesn't cost anything to link to their articles (well, not for the first week, anyway!).
Geoff assures me that I'll break my NYTimes dependency when I start my internship this March at the Wall Street Journal's graphic design department. As evidence, he presents this page one article from today's Journal (Admissions Preferences Given To Alumni Children Draws Fire):
With two cases challenging affirmative action at the University of Michigan pending before it, the Supreme Court will soon decide the fate of race-based preferences in college admissions. But the cases also may affect the future of a longer-standing kind of preference: the one favoring children of alumni.In case anyone was wondering, I am not a Harvard legacy admission--both my parents went to state colleges in Massachusetts back when they were affordable. But as you can see from the article above, the legacy admissions rate here at Harvard is ridiculous--40 percent of legacy students get admitted. When you consider that the general acceptance rate is something like only 11 percent, that number starts to smell funny... And it gets worse when you note that "only 7.6% of legacy applicants accepted last year were black, Hispanic or Native American, compared with 17.8% of all successful applicants."
The legacy preference, as it is known, is nearly as widespread as those based on race and ethnicity. Colleges like it because it keeps alumni happy and more inclined to donate. But overwhelmingly, the legacy preference benefits whites. Now, calls to abandon the legacy preference are on the rise from minority groups and politicians who see it as a perpetuation of class distinction and white advantage...
(And as a sidenote: the first question I get asked when I tell people I'm going to be working in the graphic design department at the Journal is: the Journal has a graphic design department? To which I can only answer: if you were a real graphic design fiend, wouldn't you have already read about it in my favorite magazine? But if you haven't, and you're curious, here's a look "Behind the Redesign"... )