The State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo is facing a federal civil rights complaint over two pre-college medical science programs that allegedly use racial preferences in the admissions process.
The Legal Insurrection Foundation’s Equal Protection Project filed the complaint Tuesday against SUNY Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine for two programs that “explicitly give admissions preference based on race and skin color.” The school’s Medical Science Technology Entry Program for high school students and Middle School Summer Enrichment Program for students in the seventh and eight grades prefer students who “identify as ‘Black/African-American,’ ‘American Indian/Alaska Native’ and ‘Hispanic/ Latino,'” according to the complaint.
“By implementing racially discriminatory policies with regard to high school and middle school student programs, SUNY Buffalo is doing damage beyond the institution,” William A. Jacobson, founder of Equal Protection Project, said in a statement. “It is teaching youth that treating people differently based on race and color is acceptable. But such discrimination never is acceptable, and SUNY Buffalo needs to lead by example.”
The complaint argues the programs violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“OCR should investigate the blatantly discriminatory UB Medical STEP programs and the circumstances under which they were created, promoted, and approved, take all appropriate action to end such discriminatory practices and impose remedial relief,” the complaint states.
It also notes the Supreme Court recently confirmed using race in the admissions process is unlawful in the Students for Fair Admissions cases, in which the justices struck down affirmative action. (RELATED: Colleges Plot New Ways To Discriminate After Supreme Court Strikes Down Race-Based Admissions)
The Equal Protection Project previously filed a complaint against SUNY Buffalo’s School of Law for an undergraduate summer program that similarly gives preferences “based on race and skin color” days before the Supreme Court’s affirmative action decision in June.
“The racial discrimination problem appears to go beyond SUNY Buffalo, as SUNY Albany helped create and promote a library internship through the Albany Public Library open only to blacks,” Jacobson said. “The Equal Protection Project (EqualProtect.org) calls upon SUNY to conduct a system-wide Equality Audit to identify all programming that discriminates on the basis of race and color, and to eliminate those practices.”
“As the Supreme Court recently ruled, ‘Eliminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it.'” Jacobson continued. “EqualProtect.org is willing to assist SUNY in an Equality Audit without charge.”
SUNY Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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