Opening Higher Ed Access (Amaka Okechukwu)

Episode 9 October 07, 2019 00:35:40
Opening Higher Ed Access (Amaka Okechukwu)
Annex Sociology Podcast
Opening Higher Ed Access (Amaka Okechukwu)

Oct 07 2019 | 00:35:40

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Show Notes

Today, we meet Amaka Okechukwu (George Mason University) about the politics of opening access to higher education. We discuss her new book, To Fulfill These Rights: Political Struggle Over Affirmative Action and Open Admissions (Columbia University Press), and her study about the historical political struggles surrounding affirmative action and open admissions.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00 <inaudible>. Speaker 1 00:05 This is the annex sociology podcast. I'm Joseph Cohen from the city university of New York today to political struggle to open college access. Our guest is a Maka OCA Chukwu from George Mason university. Our discussion was recorded on August 10th, 2019 okay. We're here with a Maka OCHA Chukwu of George Mason university. And I understand that you've just released, yes. Your book to fulfill these rights, political struggle over affirmative action in open admissions with Columbia university press. Congratulations. Thank you very much. Okay, so we're here talking about affirmative action in open admissions in higher education. That's what the book's about. And can you start a soft just for people who aren't familiar with the concepts, what's affirmative action in so far as the cases you study open missions, what are they? Speaker 2 00:58 Okay. Well, thank you for having me on your podcast. This is exciting. I haven't talked about my work in this kind of format before. So affirmative action is typically a policy or an admissions practice that considers race ethnicity or gender in the admissions process. It is a policy that is typically practice at elite institutions, which is an important thing to mention because so much of our conversation publicly about affirmative action doesn't really deal with the kinds of institutions, right? That practice affirmative action. The sheer majority of institutions are not practicing affirmative action because you know, they're not accepting a small number of applicants, right? But affirmative action can also extend, um, to recruitment programs. It can impact financial aid packages, uh, scholarships. It can include pre college programs, right? There's a very broad umbrella when we talk about affirmative action programs, but most times when we're talking about it, at least in the education context, we're talking about the consideration of race in the admissions process and the university admissions process. Speaker 2 02:07 Open admissions is a policy that essentially institutes more relaxed admissions criteria. Most people can understand this in terms of the policies and most community colleges practice, right? Essentially, if you have a high school diploma, you can enroll. Right? And that's essentially open admissions in terms of the cases in my book, which I'm sure we'll talk about, I focus on the CUNY system in relationship to open admissions because it was the largest university system to practice open admissions in the four years senior colleges. Right. So we can again think about open admissions as a practice that is common in community colleges. It is less common in four year colleges. And so that's why the CUNY case is so significant in regards to its implementation of open admissions. Which cases do you look at in the book? Okay, so I focused on formative action at university of Michigan, university of Texas and university of California. Speaker 2 03:07 And then I look at open admissions and at the CUNY system, in these cases I'm examining both political struggle over the adoption of these policies as well as the retrenchment of these policies. So in each of these cases, their policies of, you know, race and class, inclusive admissions, whichever policy it is, was threatened and rolled back to some extent and in some cases completely eliminated. Right. And so I'm interested in the political struggle over these policies. And really looking at these policies as a site to understand the sort of shifting American landscape with regards to race, right? Most scholars when they're looking at affirmative action are approaching as sort of higher education, you know, doing policy analysis. I'm really coming into this from a social movements perspective as well as a kind of racial formation perspective, right? How are our ideas and practices about race and class shifting over time as evidenced in these cases? Speaker 2 04:13 So can you set us up with the birth of the movement? When did affirmative action open missions take hold? What was the context like what were the concerns? Right. So this is a such a messy question, right? It is. It is. It seems like a simple question what it is not right? So with affirmative action, we have to remember that in the 1960s this is a period in which the United States has experienced incredible amounts of political turmoil. Right on the civil rights movement has extracted really significant concessions from the state. And affirmative action kind of emerges in this period. It is in terms of how we talk about affirmative action and the sort of different, the sort of legislation that allowed for this to happen. It is both executive orders as well as parts of the civil rights act that prohibit discrimination, that people use as a means to essentially desegregate their campuses using affirmative action. Speaker 2 05:13 There are scholars that show us though, that a lot of elite spaces started doing experimental programs before they were federally mandated to desegregate their campuses because, you know, they were kind of, I mean, there's sort of a cynical way to look at it and there's, you know, there's a variety of ways to look at this, but they were inspired by the movements of the times and wanted, you know, these sort of do good are liberal administrators, right? We want to, you know, we don't want to be on these awful people. Then we want to sort of help this, this movement of civil rights. So we're gonna bring in, you know, five black people onto campus to desegregate, right? These campuses. So a leaks, um, schools begin to start doing this a bit earlier, but you know, affirmative action essentially comes out of this period. Now, one thing that I Chronicle in my book is that, you know, you have somebody to experimental programs that begin, but student mobilization on campus with those five kids, they come and they realize that they're feeling socially isolated, that these policies aren't making a great impact. Speaker 2 06:16 They want their peers that they grew up with or other people in the community to be able to experience this education. And so many students begin to demand more once they're on these campuses. And so a lot of affirmative action programs actually get extended and expanded as a result of this kind of, you know, political mobilization on campus. Because, you know, administrators don't want these kids to tear down the campus. Right. We can think about the emergence of open admissions in the same way, right? So what's that story? Yeah. So in the CUNY system, you have a few, you know, black and Brown students that are brought on a campus as a result of the seek program, right? Right. Particularly a city college. And those students are actually not, you know, this is essentially kind of second class citizenship that they have. They can't participate in athletics. Speaker 2 07:03 They can't, they don't have, Oh wait. They weren't allowed to say we're not, I think they were, I think they were restricted from voting or something. Yeah. Eight students. Right. So they weren't sort of fully empowered CUNY students like the rest of other students. Right. And so these students, you know, shut down the campus, right? We have the open admission strike. This is the 50th year of the open emission strike. 1969 and as a concession, right. The administration developed open admission. They had sort of been thinking about implementing a kind of open admissions over us, you know, a longer period of time, but the kind of political mobilization forces them to immediately implement it. Um, it's a concession because the black and Brown students have very specific demands, which include like proportional demographic representation and those sorts of things. The administration says, well, no, we're not going to do that, but we will just allow everyone to come into these four year universities. Speaker 2 07:58 And so this was kind of a revolutionary thing, right? I'm city college as a time had this really incredible reputation, right? As a kind of Harvard of the working class. Right? And so this was incredibly significant that the CUNY system could implement something so drastic, demographically the institutions shifts radically, right? This is a majority white system before 1969 right? And by 70 I think for you have, you know, almost a majority student of color population, right? So it's a radical shift. Right? And so yeah, so that's kind of like the emergence of these kinds of policies on these campuses. And how are the actors organized? Like who exactly, who is at the forefront of the movement and what were they doing in terms of adoption or rollback or adoption, adoption of the policies. Okay. So you know, as mentioned, because this is process that kind of happens over time, you have, in some cases, people are responding to sort of federal legislation, right? So you have sort of elected political actors that are, you know, shaping the debate here and administrators', right? The first phase, I would definitely, particularly with affirmative action, that's what I would say at CUNY would be largely administrators in terms of adoption of these policies. And then, like I said, later on with student mobilization as sort of active political actors on that begins to also impact the kinds of policies or the sort of expansion of the policies later on. We have different political actors involved in the rollback of the policies. Right. Speaker 1 09:35 So, all right. And, and when did all of these changes occur and what was the immediate reaction? The immediate pushback, not the successful roll back, but when it first happened, these changes who reacted and how, so these changes Speaker 2 09:51 is really occur in the 1960s and early 1970s you do have some pushback to the policies, but I would say early on, I believe that there was more pushback to affirmative action in employment than there was to education, at least in my sort of scholarly opinion. Right. A lot of the literature from that period focuses on the employment sector, you know, different unions and different sort of labor organizations that, you know, had different positions on affirmative actions and people were protesting. So you have some resistance. Hmm. Why did, why the difference, you think it's just the perception of jobs are scarce or deer or is that what it is basically? Right. I mean people, yes. This feeling of scar city, I mean you have to understand that. And when these policies are enacted in the 60s in the 70s then we begin to experience massive economic shifts in this country. Right? Waves of recessions, people are, you know, the plants are leaving, right? The industrialization. And so we do have a lot of feelings I think particularly among like the white working class and the white middle class that, you know, our opportunities are decreasing and now all these other people are coming in to take the jobs that are left. Right. And so I think there is this sort of feeling of scar city and competition that comes out during that time period. Speaker 1 11:08 Alright. And then eventually sort of the counterrevolution happens. So what are the roots of that? Who was, who was at the forefront of the push to roll back? Speaker 2 11:18 Right. So I would say a PR, an important sort of pre history, my book in terms of the robot, but rollback really focuses on the 1990s and the early two thousands. But the uh, bikey Supreme court cases, uh, incredibly important case to talk about it is sort of important prehistory to the rollback. Absolutely. So the Bocky case is a 1978 Supreme court decision that essentially sort of upholds diversity as a state interest, right. As legal is constitutional universities can pursue, they can their classes and consider diversity in the composition of their classes. Right? So that is legal as constitutional. However, that sort of establishing the diversity as a rationale is important because prior, the rationale was not diversity. People were not using diversity as a reason to sort of compose their classes. They were using racial redress. Right. This was about, you know, we have discriminated against people for this long period of time. Speaker 2 12:19 We needed to make up for that. We need to have black people on this is about desegregation and racial redress, right? The Supreme court in the <inaudible> decision says, no, you cannot stay racial redress is the justification, but diversity can be a justification, right? So that's the first thing that the bikey decision does. The second thing that it does is that an Outlaws quotas, right? So you know, we have in the eighties in the nineties and even today we have this sort of consistent association with affirmative action to quotas. That's been illegal since 1978 right? So the Supreme court saying we're not doing this right in 1978 so you know, it's interesting I think in the 80s Reagan and Republicans, so you know, masterfully sort of equated affirmative action, a quotas that we tend to sort of still associate the two together, right? So, so the Bocky decision is important for this. Speaker 2 13:09 The, it features the case of a white man that is applying to graduate school or a sort of medical school at UC Davis. He gets projected and he sues and says reverse discrimination. You didn't accept me because I'm white. Right? And so this is the sort of outcome of that decision. Now in the 1990s you began to have a sort of emerging and sort of coordinated movement to roll back affirmative action. We first began with in 1996 with the Hopwood decision in Texas, which temporarily Outlaws affirmative action in Texas, but also throughout the rest of the fifth circuit jurisdiction, which was Louisiana and Mississippi also. But then we get the Grutter and <inaudible> decisions in Michigan in 2003 right? These are the famous Michigan cases in which affirmative action is challenged in university of Michigan's law school and the university of Michigan's undergraduate liberal arts school. Right? Speaker 2 14:08 Those decisions are important because the grasp decision says or basically renders that you cannot use mechanical means to include diversity, right? What does that mean? So this means that there is no equation. You can't just see a black person and say, okay, that's five points, right? And compose your classes in that way, right? That's a mechanical, quote unquote mechanical way of doing things. You can't use grids, you can't use other mechanical ways. You have to use holistic review applications. If you're, you know, with the inclusion of rice as the only way that you can give and quantifiable no, right? It is holistic review, right? And so, so the grass decision Outlaws that, but the Grutter decision opposed diversity, that's all sweet. You could use it that you couldn't quantify it basically. Right? So it's this idea that when people are sending in all these applications to these elite universities, right? Speaker 2 15:03 They're getting a whole bunch of applications for very few slots, right? So, um, how, you know, typically, right? People are sort of making decisions about who to admit, right? You go through their application, you're saying, okay, this person has, you know, they're musically inclined 10 points. They're an athlete, five points. They would add, Oh, this person is black, three points or whatever. Right? And so they say you cannot include race in that calculation, right? Because some, you know, the, maybe the number is 75 and the cutoff is 80 or whatever. And so that you get rid of that person, that's a mechanical way, right? Right. That's what they're saying. No admissions offices, you can't do that. Right? So, so an interesting thing that actually happens with the outlawing of this mechanical means in regards to inclusion of races, that you actually have the kind of expansion of admissions offices because you need more people to do a holistic view, right? Speaker 2 15:57 You need people to be able to sort of review the application in depth, right? And give their sort of opinion about whether the person should be admitted or not. So those federal court decisions are really important. Now what you also have is state ballot initiatives, right? So in California you have a ballot initiative anti-affirmative action ballot initiative in 1996 proposition two Oh nine and that terminates affirmative action in university admissions, in state employment and state contracting. The same initiative is passed in Michigan in 2006 war kindly goes across the country. He's a UC region and tries to sort of, you know, pass these statewide ballot initiatives on which I talk about in the book. And so you also have this kind of tactic, right? So you have the tactic of the sort of federal challenge, right? Which is very threatening because federal challenges could impact everybody, right? Speaker 2 16:51 And then you have the state wide challenges, which tend to be more successful and will just impact the state. I also talk about the board of trustees sort of as a tactic you, the ways in which, um, conservatives sort of stack board of trustees right in their favor. So that's what happens in the CUNY system with the end of the open admissions. Right? Cause you have at the time, you know, a mayor and governor that are kind of in alignment with want to end open admissions and they have appointees to the CUNY board of trustees and they're able to sort of undermine the policy with sort of help from the Manhattan Institute, which I know is still very involved in CUNYs affairs, Giuliani years. Is that what a Giuliani and Pataki. Oh, interesting. And so, so yeah, so you have a variety of different sort of conservative tactics that are used to undermine affirmative action and open admissions. Speaker 2 17:41 And so I talk about that in depth in the book, right? The sort of conservative mobilization, the role of think tanks and foundations and a conservative public interest law firms. I'm the coordination, right? So the connections between think tanks that may be involved with CUNY, but also involved with affirmative action over here. Right. But I also talk about in addition to conservatives, right? Which I think is important because you know, as a side note, I think one of the interventions is that we don't, as sociologists, we don't spend enough time examining elite people, right? And Elite's been conservatives. We don't spend enough time examining them. And I think it's incredibly important to understand the strategies of conservatives because there are an elite conservatives because they're often success. Speaker 1 18:22 And what was it? What, what did they do? Like what was the, if you were forced to sort of in a nutshell describe how they pulled it off, like what was the, what was the game? What was it, Speaker 2 18:31 what I've just described, right? So I'm in terms of you have coordination, right? You have resources, right? With the role of different think tanks, some public interest law firms, right? You have these tactics that I've mentioned, right? The federal court intervention, the ballot initiatives, the board of trustees, sort of manipulation. But then importantly, something that I talk about, particularly with the federal court cases and the valid initiatives, is that you have this appropriation of civil rights language and tactics and symbols, right? Right. So the federal court cases are an example of essentially mounting test cases like the civil rights movement did and trying to take down segregation, right? You have a test case, you know, find somebody that is experiencing art that you know, that can't, for example, um, attend a particular school because you know it's a whites only space, right? You challenged that. Speaker 2 19:22 You right, you a, and then you sort of continue to Mount that case with the intention of, you know, knocking down Jim Crow, right? Segregation at the time with the conservatives. Right? The intention is to eliminate affirmative action. This is why we have so many cases, right? This is why we go from Texas to Michigan, back to Texas with the Fischer cases and now we have this Harvard case that we're still trying to figure out what's going on with it, right? We regard less of the decision in the Harvard case. One, either side will appeal. This is not the end. Right? So, and you know, Edward Blum, who's behind this Harvard case, was behind the Fischer cases, which is in the book, right? On the Michigan cases and the first Texas case, the center for individual rights. We're behind that, those cases, right? So this, this is about a sort of, again, a goal and an intention to end affirmative action throughout the country. Speaker 1 20:16 It was interesting, eh, you're talking about sort of appropriating the logics of civil rights to undo civil rights, and that's totally apparent in the Harvard case, but could you be flush it out a little? Like how do they do it? How do they frame their pushback against civil rights as the civil rights issue? Speaker 2 20:34 Right? So I'm talking about this in the book. Absolutely. So what we have here, you know, conservatives are using the language of colorblindness, right? Many folks know when Obama was elected, right? Are we, you know, are we living in this colorblind society? Right? You know, hopefully we all see that that was a farce, right? But using this language of colorblindness, right? The civil rights legislation all rests on this idea of nondiscrimination, right? And when we equate colorblindness to non-discrimination, you can, and conservatives did. You can utilize this as a means to build cases to end these policies. When we're talking about the sort of civil rights tactics of the court case and the test cases up until, let's see, 2016 right? Between 96 and 2016 all the lead plaintiffs for these federal cases are white and women. This is very strategic. This is about mobilizing a kind of gendered vulnerability as a means to kind of paint Weiss's victimize, right? Speaker 2 21:40 We being victimized by these policies, which were, they featured women, white women, right? Yes. All of the cases between 96 and 2016 these are the big cases, right? Right. And I see this as significant and get in terms, again, trying to mobilize this gendered vulnerability in order for whites to sort of claim victimization. And so part of what I'm arguing here and sort of sort of exploring in this book is even thinking about the sort of white racial identity in the post civil rights period and how in these cases you see that these conservative organizations are essentially trying to legislate whiteness as victimized, right? In these federal court cases, you also see in the ballot initiatives, there's really intentional language to one strip affirmative action as a phrase from the actual ballot initiative. So many of the ballot initiatives didn't even say this initiative is going to end. Speaker 2 22:31 Formative action was actually very misleading in the ways that they titled in sort of formed the ballot language in California and Michigan. These are initiatives that are called the California civil rights initiative. That's what proposition two Oh nine is called puzzle to a Michigan. It's called the Michigan civil rights initiative, right? These are propositions that ended urban of action throughout the state. And in both of these cases, you have the languages that is used as racial preferences as not affirmative action as racial preferences, right? And when you have that, you have the title of it. Civil rights, all of the media framing and all of your campaign ads are explicitly drawing on civil rights symbols, right? We have ads in Michigan that essentially show too small a black child and a white child playing or sort of sharing ice cream cone. And this is the like, I don't know what that image tells us about what the initiative is actually about. Speaker 2 23:26 Right? But you have that type of imagery, a commercial that shows like water fountains in, I believe like dogs attacking protests. This is civil rights, you know, symbolism, right? And they're using this to say we are not for discrimination. And so we have to end these policies because they're discriminating against white people. And so I think it's really important to sort of highlight the ways in which they really are appropriating civil rights tactics, language symbols as a means to roll back civil rights policy. So are they doing this because it's interesting. So with the gender issue, are they basically just trying to wedge <inaudible> people who are concerned with gender equality from people who are concerned with racial equality as a means of making sure that they don't so easily join forces? Is that the ADA, there's different motivations, right? So in the state wide initiatives, and particularly in California, it's very clear that these were racial wedge issues, right? Speaker 2 24:20 These were, there were, um, ways to sort of mobilize an electorate, right? So in California in 96, we have to remember that bill Clinton is, is an office with a prior, you know, 94, right? So bill Clinton is an office. The Republicans want the presidency back, right? And they are essentially want to, you know, they want to create Reagan Democrats, right? So this is a phrase that's used to speak about the sort of white union working class Democrats that, you know, shifted to the democratic party to vote for Reagan, right? And so they want Reagan, Democrat, they want to pull people from the democratic party to the Republican party as a means to get the presidency back, right? So in California, one way that this is done is, is through affirmative action. Prior to affirmative action, we have prop one 87 in California, which takes social services away from undocumented people. Speaker 2 25:12 So some of the same things are happening in terms of, again, the racial wedge issues, the governor of California, Pete Wilson, he wants to run for president. Right? Right. And so we, so we have, he, you know, he doesn't ultimately get the nomination right. But this is one of the things, right? And so that's a motivation. The center for individual rights, who was behind the first Texas case than the Michigan cases. This is an ideological organization and this is a organization, like I said, call it the center for individual rights, right? Very neoliberal kind of libertarian organization that wants to sort of end this federal overreach. Right. And so they see a formative action as a case where they can do that. Can I interject? So you have, I'm understanding there are people who are ideologically committed to on doing these things, but then there are just also political actors who are seeking to stoke like white resentment. Speaker 2 26:05 Is that what it is? Is it sort of like that era's version of what Donald Trump does today type of thing? It's like, Oh, I would say so. Right. It's hard to sort of see them in the same space because we're in such a insane moment right now. Right. So it's even in going back and revising this book, you know, as I wrote, this was initially a dissertation and I finished it before Trump was elected. Right. And so going back and revising this book, it's really interesting because I'm really dealing with sort of elite conservatives, right. Folks that you know before wouldn't have even associated themselves with Trump. Right. They see that as something else. Right. And so, so it's really interesting now to be in this sort of Trump moment and kind of understand this on a kind of continuum. Right. And so yeah, people are particularly with the ballot initiatives, absolutely. Speaker 2 26:50 Trying to sort of, um, yeah, absolutely. And who, you know, what better way than to get people angry about, you know, black people taking their kids admissions from UC Berkeley. Right, right. Oh that's interesting. And especially it, that's interesting cause then it makes you think, you know, it's like the, you think that Trump is such a, a different thing, but it looks like, it sounds like it's the same game just in a different sort of package. Absolutely. I see it. Yeah. Like on a continuum, I think. And I also think that, you know, with, you know, the, these cases in some ways set a kind of precedent, right? So we don't just go from, you know, this sort of genteel world to a Trump, right? We have to, we get that, you know, we have to sort of build to get there. And I think that these affirmative action cases are, um, one space where that happens. Speaker 2 27:39 Right? And then we have, you know, the tea party is after this, you know, so we build to get to Trump, but you, the elites, what's their iron in this fire? Like why, what's motivating them? Or they just do, they want a tax cut and they figure if they make working class whites mad, that'll get them to like, what, what's their, what's their iron in this fire? Right. I mean, that's a great question. I think that in many cases, this is, like I said, very ideologically driven, right? This is about attempts to roll back the civil rights movement. This is about wanting to sort of resist quote unquote federal overreach. And this is about, you know, not necessarily with the sort of elites that are running these campaigns, but if you think, you know, the 90s is a time at which college admissions begins to get competitive, right? Speaker 2 28:24 Some of these really elite, we think about Berkeley or you know, some of these elite public universities, you know, going back to the 70s in the 80s I mean not nearly as competitive as it is now, right? And so we have people that probably took for granted, right? Oh, of course I'm going to go my kids, we'll go to Berkeley or wherever. Right? And now it's not so guaranteed. And so this is also important context in regards to getting people upset. I mean, we know that there are, there's this huge, you know, industry to just sort of prepare kids to be able to compete in these admissions processes testing. And you know, all kinds of things, you know, consultants and all of that. Right. And, and so I think people are responding to this crunch. They're responding to competitive elite emissions as well. It's like, yeah, that's the one space too where people will let their ethics go right at the window when it involves their kids. Speaker 2 29:13 Right? Yeah. So we have, you know, this recent scandal, right, where you have the college admission. Yeah. Which is always, that was hilarious to me because it was like a course, this has happened. Like, you know, and I, you know, my undergraduate institution was one of the schools that was exposed and this, right. So I went to the university of Southern California as an undergraduate and when this happened, I'm ready to go. What do you think? And I was like, of course. Yeah. Like that's, yeah. I'm very, I was very aware that this was happening what I was going to school. Right. I mean cause it happens in a variety of ways. It's not just these rich kids, but it's also, you think about the way that athletes are recruited to be in these spaces. Right. Like, I mean, so it's, Speaker 1 29:54 we're chatting about it on the show and we were like, this is what the not rich enough kids do. Cause the really rich kids just buy something real big. Yeah. Yeah. Oh and okay, so we're running a little short on time, but I'm dying to know. But just because I'm at Queens college and you know when I speak to older folk, a lot of them are bitter about the open enrollment. Like alumni who felt like their degree was very prestigious and they speak about it with some bitterness. What was your take on, like what, first of all, it's amazing that a prestigious school would just open the doors like that. Aside from like the social justice or whatever aspects of it. Like, Oh, like what happened when they just threw their doors open? Was it like what happened to the institutions? Speaker 2 30:41 I think so. Thank you for bringing that up. So you know, when we've talked about city college and you know, switches with the first, right? And then the CUNY schools, right? These are schools that were built for poor immigrants, <inaudible> city college. This was literally in the sort of founding, this was a school, that's the purpose of this school, right? To, to educate poor immigrants, right? And so with these kinds of working class roots, there was always this attention to being a good space for the average man, right? As you mentioned, you know, the reputation of the spaces became very prestigious in part because of the discrimination that Ivy leaks were practicing against Jewish people, right? So a lot of Jews that were prevented from enrolling in Ivy league colleges because of, you know, the quotas and the things that were going on at that time came into the CUNY system. Speaker 2 31:31 Right? And so we have very, you know, elite reputation at the time. Now open admissions happens, people are brought in. A key part of open admissions is remedial courses, which is common. This is not, you know, unique to CUNY, right? Even schools that are quote unquote elite have significant remedial programs, right? So this is not even unique to work in class kids, right? Right. So that's one piece that's sort of necessary for that. But you know, oftentimes opening up doors to a huge amount of people of color, a lot of times people blame the students for the reason of the quote unquote decline of the system, right. Which I think is really problematic and racist. We really have to understand that the time at which, you know, the doors are open as the time at which we are again entering into the sneel liberal period. Speaker 2 32:21 We have massive state disinvestment in the system, right? We have a city generally that's quote unquote on decline. It's not just the university system, right? Yes. Seventies for bad for New York. Right? And so this has a major impact on the CUNY system, right? So let's not, it's not students that were, the issues never been the case. It has been about the resources, you know, the institutional supports for the CUNY system. And so part of, you know, CUNY even sort of getting rid of remediation in the, um, senior colleges is also about pivoting to finding, you know, more resources for the system. They want to attract middle-class kids who can pay more tuition. Um, they want to attract investment. They want to be higher ranked because it's, this is about resources, right? In a ways in which both public and private universities have to position themselves in this neoliberal period, right? Speaker 2 33:16 They have to make, they have to find ways to make money because they're not getting it from other places. Right. And so that happens. I think it's important to note that, and I don't know how much we're gonna get into, you know, CUNYs assistant, the CUNY pod, right? But it's important to note that, you know, with the end of open admissions in the senior colleges, we also have a adoption of a new strategic plan in the community system where we have the emergence of the honors college, right? Which in some ways is a way to kind of funnel and sort of concentrate your resources in a particular way in the CUNY system. So, you know, just with the kind of donations and things that Macaulay is getting, right. And so, you know, these things are not happening in isolation of each other. They're happening in relationship to each other. Speaker 1 33:59 Right. Right. I just want to close off with one question. Through the whole journey of doing the book, contemplating these issues, like what were the big insights that you walked away with the, you know, things that shifted your worldview? Well, so Speaker 2 34:13 thing that I think relates to this is why I included affirmative action and open admissions in the same book that typically not seen together. And I think what was important for me was to consider elite universities alongside, you know, less elite, um, spaces as a means to understand how race and class inclusive policies are being challenged across the board. Right? Most students in this country go to schools that are more akin to CUNY than to Berkeley. Right? And so it's important for us to understand that no, this rollback is not just happening in these elite spaces. It's also impacting the average school that most of us that are going to. And so I think for me in writing the book, it was really interesting and you know, depressing for me to see that, you know, to see that story, to see that it's not just restricted to one space to see the coordination. And the connections across cases and, yeah. Speaker 1 35:11 All right. The book is to fulfill these rights, political struggle over affirmative action and open and missions. We've been talking with, uh, Maka, OCA, Chukwu from George Mason university. Thank you so much. Speaker 2 35:23 Thank you so much for <inaudible>. Speaker 3 35:24 In the time you've been listening to the annex sociology podcast, a special thank you to a Mako OCHA Chukwu of George Mason university. Her book is to fulfill rights, political struggle over affirmative action and open admissions with Columbia university press or on the web, www dot <inaudible> dot org slash annex on Twitter at <inaudible> and on Facebook, the annex sociology podcast. Our producers are less Seth Merino, Jaylene cologne and Fonzie and Muhammad. I'm Joe Cohen. Thanks for listening. <inaudible>.

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