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SJF students weigh in on Supreme Court decision

Pittsford, N.Y. -- Michigan's voter-approved ban on the use of race as a factor in college admissions is going to stick.

The Supreme Court upheld the ban in a 6-2 ruling Tuesday.

But Rick DeJesus-Rueff, the vice president of student affairs and diversity initiatives at St. John Fisher College, said the decision goes beyond affirmative action.

According to DeJesus-Rueff, more investments need to be made in minority students in grade school, such as prepping them for college, so their work alone speaks for itself, not just race.

Victorin Kothor, a freshman at St. John Fisher, is originally from Africa and said without the help from the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), getting into college may have been impossible.

While HEOP is not affirmative action, DeJesus-Reuff said programs like it are critical to help minorities make the grade.

"I think they're very valuable and they set a tone because they create hope," said DeJesus-Reuff. "Students can see possibilities; students can see futures for themselves."

Freshman students Ialeana Bodden and Madiya Bracamante said they understand why affirmative action may be needed in some cases, but said it's their hope in the future it won't be a factor.

"My hope is for everyone not to limit themselves based on race and ethnicities," said Bracamante. "Anyone can go anywhere if they believe."

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Washington Times