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Affirmative Action Gets a Failing Grade

January 12, 2003

Re "Look at College Diversity From All Angles," Jan. 4:

When people think of affirmative action they don't see who it hurts. I mean, it's great for creating diversity at universities. However, one must consider the fact that in order to make room for minority students, it is necessary to remove highly qualified white students who have worked their whole lives to get into schools such as UC Berkeley, UCLA and USC.

It has raised the competition to ridiculous levels, requiring nonminority students to essentially kill themselves through stress and overwork just to even apply, much less be accepted. In my case, I am enrolled in four Advanced Placement classes and an honors math class. In addition, I am on my school's newspaper staff, mock trial team, serve as president of the Poetry Club and act in school plays.

Sleep and other needs come second. The sad part is that I will never have a chance to go to a school like Berkeley or UCLA. That is what happens with affirmative action. Kids who work so hard will never reap the rewards of their efforts. The popular phrase "No good deed goes unpunished" comes to mind, but it's not the colleges that are paying for their shortsightedness. It's the kids like me whose dreams are shredded for a politically correct policy.

Lindsey Mazurek

Laguna Niguel

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