Words and Illustrations by Sarah Logan
As college students, we are all familiar with the stress and anxiety that comes with the college admissions process. We have all tried to solidify a spot in a reputable college for the betterment of our future. In today’s America, getting a college education is a priority for many young students. Without a college education, many people feel left behind.
Most recently, a college admissions scandal has been circling the news. Well-known actress Lori Loughlin has just been called out for bribing the college admissions board of the University of Southern California. Loughlin paid $500,000 to get her daughter Olivia Jade into the prolific college.
Sophia Grace Macy, the daughter of Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy – two other well-known actors – has also been involved in this scandal. Although, in comparison to Jade’s situation, her injustice derives from an earlier stage in the college admissions process. Lauren Weiler, a journalist from Entertainment Cheat Sheet, states that Huffman offered $15,000 to those who could help Sophia significantly boost her SAT scores. Weiler’s sources say that it is unclear if she knew that her SAT score was being purposefully manipulated.
After this information surfaced, many wondered what would happen to the students involved in this unfortunate circumstance. Some students at CCNY had their own opinions about the injustice of the situation and what they believe should happen to the students after the scandal.
Hadja Fatoumata Doumbouya, a senior studying civil engineering stated, “it is true that everything that happened is unfair to many students who wished they had enough resources, but for those who are already on track to university, it might be even worse to not give them fair chances.”
Like Doumbouya, many other students felt similarly, and suggested sending some more compassion to the students who are being affected. Afeera Ansar, an undeclared freshman said, “I actually feel really bad for Olivia Jade because she told her parents she had no interest in going to college, but they forced her anyway.” Like both Ansar and Doumbouya, Mahabub Alam, a junior majoring in childhood education with a concentration in math stated, “Everyone has a voice and the right to be heard before we force our own subjective judgments unto them.” While it may be inconvenient that Jade and Macy are experiencing this, students do agree that this does not justify their actions.
As for the remedy to this problem, CCNY’s students came up with some solutions. Doumbouya continued on to note, “I am not asking the university to turn a blind eye to all the bribery and mischief. I think that those students should be reassessed on their performance by a final test of entry to evaluate their intelligence because at the end of the day, the parents are the ones to blame for allowing such practices to be associated with their families.”
Most of the blame is being put onto the parents of the students, legally. Tamzid Rahman, a freshman biomedical engineer stated, “What I believe is that Loughlin did something that is truly devastating as a parent and a role model for her followers and fans. She cheated the system and let her daughter go to a private college. She could have donated money to the school to build a library, computer lab, or auditorium. Celebrity parents have the choice of either donating to the school so it can invest in better services or allow their child to apply and compete with the other pool of applicants.” He believes that the “case should be heard again, and the parents are just bad parents that have made poor decisions.”
Mary Erina Driscoll, the dean of the School of Education at CCNY expresses her opinions on the controversy from an administrative perspective. When asked about her understanding of what is going to happen to the students who are involved in the controversy, she replied, “What will happen to the student in each case will be decided by the institutions involved, and my understanding is that they are all undertaking individual investigations.”
Although it may seem that the parents are mostly to blame, Driscoll points out that this simply is not the case. She said, “If a student knowingly commits fraud by lying on an application or misrepresenting themselves during the application process, or by ‘playing along’ with a fraud perpetrated by others – including their parents – it is within the college’s right to resign their offer of admission and/or remove them as members of the school community. Even if the students were not aware of their parent’s actions, misrepresenting themselves even for a short period of time as athletes in sports they did not play competitively indicates they were complicit.”