Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed in letters to the editor are those of the author, and publication in the Graphic in no way represent an endorsement of any opinions published. This space is provided to allow public response and commentary on articles and issues which are covered by the Graphic and important to its readership.
The first step in my path to becoming a physician has always been a Pepperdine education. I’ve always revered Pepperdine as both a Christian and an academic institution. I was convinced that an education from Pepperdine would set me apart, so I dedicated myself to every educational and extra-curricular activity that would make me a strong applicant. Throughout my time at Pepperdine, I’ve held reservations, but upon reading the Graphic’s “Diversity milestone achieved,” I have verifiable evidence that my educational value at Pepperdine is plummeting.
The aforementioned article says that Pepperdine has focused its admittance on students of color in order to increase “diversity.” Through this, the university has acknowledged giving preferential treatment to students based on ethnicity. This directly violates the university’s mission to be “a Christian university committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and Christian values.”
To mask this violation of Pepperdine policy, Dean of Seaver College Rick Marrs was quoted saying, “We wanted Pepperdine to look more like the larger Southern California area.” According to Pepperdine’s website, 9.6 percent of the students are international. Of the U.S. residents that entered last fall, 45 percent were from out of state. The clear implication is not that they are looking for students representative of the cultural background of Southern California, but instead are looking to admit students of the racial makeup of Southern California, which according to the U.S. Census Bureau consists of 48.2 percent “Latino,” 9.3 percent “black” and 27.3 percent “white,” in L.A. County.
By obliging to the outdated policy of Affirmative Action, Pepperdine officials are lowering admission standards for select groups of people, shattering Pepperdine’s academic prestige. Students should be granted admittance by merit alone. Let me be clear. It is the union of a person’s background, values and achievements that makes them unique and worthy of recognition. The color of that person’s skin does not merit admittance.
This is because there is no biological or religious reason to categorize people into “races.” To be genetically differentiated as “races,” the two groups within the species must be 25 percent genetically different. This doesn’t exist between any human “races;” therefore, “race” doesn’t exist. What about Christianity? Galatians 3: 26-28 says, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you were baptized into Christ have put on Christ … for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” We are all equals in the Kingdom of Heaven. God does not categorize us, as we are all made in His image. God doesn’t judge us based on appearance. Neither should Pepperdine.
We will not reach a true state of equality until we treat each other as equals. We should be given opportunities based on our merit, not on a belief that we are not all equally human. Everyone must be held to equal expectations. Until Pepperdine practices this, they will be continuing to violate the basic principles that they claim to stand for, and the value of obtaining a degree from Pepperdine University will have truly been tainted.
Sophomore Sports Medicine Major
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As published in the Sept. 12 issue of the Pepperdine Graphic.