Nonprofit sues university for offering two scholarships available to everyone except white people
The complaint claims that WKU’s Athletics Minority Fellowship (AMF) and Distinguished Minority Fellowship (DMF) violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
‘The unlawfulness of such racial preferences was confirmed recently by the United States Supreme Court in Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harv. Coll.,’ the complaint states.
A nonprofit filed a complaint Sept. 16 against Western Kentucky University (WKU) for “creating, promoting and awarding” two athletic scholarships available only to non-white applicants.
The Legal Insurrection Foundation’s (LIF) Equal Protection Project filed the complaint with the U. S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. Founded by Cornell Law School professor William A. Jacobson, LIF is a leading national free speech and free expression investigative media organization.
The complaint claims that WKU’s Athletics Minority Fellowship (AMF) and Distinguished Minority Fellowship (DMF) violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“The unlawfulness of such racial preferences was confirmed recently by the United States Supreme Court in Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harv. Coll.,” the complaint states.
In June, the Supreme Court ruled in Students for Fair Admission v. Harvard that race-conscious admissions violate the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, Campus Reform reported.
The AMF awards $2,000 per academic year to those who “identify as an underrepresented ethnic minority.”
“Recipients will gain valuable experience in multiple areas of athletic administration … which will help position them for potential job opportunities in college athletics after graduation,” the website states.
“WKU Athletics seeks to offer at least four undergraduate scholarships in the 2023 to 2024 school year for students interested in careers focusing in collegiate athletics,” WKU’s website states. “The WKU Athletics Minority Fellowship program will be dedicated to enhancing the success of students of color – excluding student-athletes on athletic scholarship – within the athletic department’s administrative areas.”
The DMF program also requires students to be part of a minority group, covers nine hours of tuition costs for a graduate degree, and makes students eligible for a minimum $15,000 graduate assistantship stipend. Applicants “Must have Minority Status (African American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, two or more races, or Hispanic/Latino),” the website states.
“The harm from racial educational barriers is that it racializes not just the specific program, but the entire campus,” William A. Jacobson, Cornell Law School professor and founder of the Equal Protection Project, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Sending a message to students that access to opportunities is dependent on race is damaging to the fabric of campus. Universities need to adopt the approach of EqualProtect.org, which is that there is no ‘good’ form of racism, and the remedy for racism is not more racism.”
The Legal Insurrection Foundation aims to ensure equal protection under the law and non-discrimination by the government and opposes racial discrimination in any form.
Campus Reform has reported several discrimination lawsuits. In June, the American Alliance for Equal Rights (AAER) sued international law firms Perkins Coie LLP and Morrison & Foerster LLP for offering fellowships exclusively to non-whites, Campus Reform reported.
Jeffery Wilkins, a former intern and part-time employee at the University of Wyoming (UW), sued his employer, alleging that the university discriminated against him for being a white, Christian male. UW settled for $15,000.
WKU did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment.