Remembering Students Missing After Proposal 2

The student body can be measured by those who are absent, as well as those who attend the University of Michigan. These 950 empty maize and blue chairs help us imagine the number of underrepresented minority students who did not attend the university after Proposal 2 deemed affirmative action unconstitutional in the State of Michigan.

The university’s use of affirmative action in admissions was first adjudicated in 2003 when two lawsuits involving U-M’s policy reached the U.S. Supreme Court (Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger). In the first case, the court upheld the Law School’s admissions policy while in the second, it ruled against the university’s undergraduate admissions policy.  In both cases, the court upheld the use of race as one factor among many in university admissions as an approach to achieving the educational benefits of a diverse student body.

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