Clemson students weigh in on affirmative action case - FOX Carolina 21

Clemson students weigh in on affirmative action case

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Clemson University's Tillman Hall (File/FOX Carolina) Clemson University's Tillman Hall (File/FOX Carolina)
CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

In 1963, Harvey Gantt became the first African-American to integrate into Clemson University.  On Tuesday, administrators said through the years there's been progress. 

"What we have to look at, I think, is the total composite background of an individual," Chief Diversity Officer Leon Wiles said.

Wiles said it's his job to make sure the school has an inclusive campus.

"We don't live in an equitable society. There have been a number of people who have been disadvantage for many years, in fact centuries," Wiles said.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear an affirmative action case that involves a white student who didn't get accepted to the University of Texas at Austin. She sued the school and believes its policies favor minorities.

According to reports, the University of Texas at Austin offers a spot to the top 10 percent of in-state high school students. The majority of minority students are admitted under this policy.

However, the student who sued said she had to compete under a different selection process that takes into account test scores, work experience and race.

Students at Clemson University had differing opinions on the case.

"I just think the best student should get in regardless of race," Philip White said. He is a freshman at Clemson. "I worked hard in high school and did everything I could; SAT scores, AP classes, trying to make myself as marketable to college as possible."

However, some students believe affirmative action is still needed.

"It's still relevant in today's society," said Jarvis Lamb, who is studying education at Clemson. "I think you need to have people of all different parts of society so you can grow as an individual."

Students and administrators will wait for the Supreme Court's decision.

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