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Volume 69, Issue 62, Wednesday, November 19, 2003


Affirmative action to be debated at lecture

Cougar News Services

An important Supreme Court ruling this summer found that universities could use race as a factor in admissions. Thursday night the debate will come to campus as part of the third annual Jenkins Distinguished Lecture hosted by the Graduate School of Social Work. 

Civil rights activist Benjamin Hooks will square off with conservative opponent Linda Chavez at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Moores Opera House, where the two will argue the finer points of constitutionally allowing race-based admissions programs.

The event is free and open to the public.

The Supreme Court's ruling was actually two decisions, with the first striking down a system at the University of Michigan that awarded extra points to "underrepresented" racial and ethnic minority groups. The second, however, upheld the Michigan Law School's right to use a "narrowly tailored" consideration of race to diversify the student body.

Hooks is the former national executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and was the first black criminal court judge in Tennessee. Chavez is the president of the Center for Equal Opportunity and writes a nationally syndicated newspaper column.

Previous Jenkins lectures were given by Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams and Mara Liasson, a national political correspondent for National Public Radio.

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