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May 20, 2015 1:10 pm

Critic Alleges ‘Asians Are the New Jews’ Facing Discrimination at Harvard

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

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Harvard University. Photo: Jacob Rus.

Harvard University is using the admissions criteria it devised to discriminate against Jewish students in the 1920s against Asian-Americans today, an opinion piece in the New York Post charged on Thursday.

Seeking to “smoke out” the ethnic identity of students, Harvard requires applicants to give their parents’ place of birth, their mother’s maiden name, and disclose whether the family has ever changed its name. These, together with an interview with admissions, were devised by Harvard to maintain a strict Jewish quota in the 1920s, wrote Betsy McCaughey, a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research.

McCaughey’s piece was published just a few days after 64 Asian American groups filed a complaint with the Federal government alleging that Harvard was practicing discriminatory policy in its admissions.

Harvard General Counsel Robert W. Iuliano responded to the allegations saying the university’s admissions practice is “fully lawful” and “holistic” in its approach.

“Amazingly, no matter how the racial makeup of the applicant pool changes year to year, the outcome is the same cookie-cutter student body,” which includes a 15 to 18 percent Asian American population, wrote McCaughey.

In 1922, Harvard president A. Lawrence Lowell wrote a letter urging a quota for Jewish students of 15 percent, roughly the amount of Asian-American students attending each of Harvard’s classes today.

Harvard was not unique in restricting Jewish students in the 1920s, as Ivy League schools across the East Coast adopted the discriminatory practice. By 1919, 40% of Columbia’s student body was Jewish, but that number dropped to below 15 percent with the adoption of quota policies over the next decade.

An opinion in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday called Asian-Americans the “new Jews of Harvard admissions.”

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