Civil rights watchdog files federal complaint against UBuffalo race-based scholars program
'Even before the recent Supreme Court decision... segregating educational programs and excluding participants based on race or color was not permitted,' the EPP said.
The Equal Protection Project filed a Civil Rights Complaint against the University at Buffalo’s School of Law over a summer program that gives preference to 'students of color.'
The Equal Protection Project filed a Civil Rights Complaint on June 27 against the State University of New York at Buffalo’s School of Law for operating a summer program that gives preference to “students of color.”
In the complaint, the Equal Protection Project told the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights that the school’s Discover Law Undergraduate Scholars Program violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The Equal Protection Project is an initiative of the Legal insurrection Foundation, and is “devoted to the fair treatment of all persons without regard to race or ethnicity.”
“It is shocking that a law school would engage in such clear racial discrimination for an educational program,” the Equal Protection Project told Campus Reform. “Even before the recent Supreme Court decision in the Harvard/UNC cases, it was clear that segregating educational programs and excluding participants based on race or color was not permitted.”
“SUNY Buffalo law school must have known better, and it needs to do better,” it added.
The Discover Law Undergraduate Scholars Program is a “four-week residential summer program” that selects 20 students who completed their freshman or sophomore year and scored 3.0 or above GPA. “Preference is given to students of color and first-generation college students,” according to the website.
According to a brochure, the program is “[f]ocusing on students of color” to help “diversify law school classes, and eventually the profession, one promising young person at a time.”
The program has no cost and attendees will receive a “monetary stipend”, as stated on a bulletin.
The Equal Protection Project argued in the complaint that the program violates Title IV and the Equal Protection clause “for a recipient of federal money to create, support, and promote a racially segregated program.” The organization also claimed the alleged discrimination was “intentional” due to “clear case law existing at the time the program was created and promoted.”
“SUNY Buffalo needs to acknowledge that its discriminatory program was a mistake, and apologize to the community for excluding students based on race and color,” The Equal Protection Project told Campus Reform.
“The school also needs to make amends to the students who were excluded, and to run additional programs open to everyone so that those who wished to participate but were excluded based on race or color have a chance to take the program,” the organization added.
SUNY Buffalo Law School told Campus Reform that it does “not comment on pending litigation.”
This comes shorlty after the United States Supreme Court ruling against race-based admissions, concluding the lawsuits filed by Students for Fair Admissions against Harvard University and UNC Chapel Hill for admissions discrimination based on race.
Campus Reform has contacted all relevant parties for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.