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Effects of Proposal 2 seen at Michigan State

(AP): The effects of Michigan’s new law banning some types of affirmative action programs are starting to make themselves felt across Michigan State University.

Six weeks ago, the school had an Office of Racial Ethnic Student Affairs. Now, it’s called the Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions, the Lansing State Journal reported in a Saturday story.

Many of the changes are small: New names, new program descriptions, a new emphasis on the fact that the events, programs and services targeted toward minority students are open to everyone.

School President Lou Anna Simon said in her State of the University address Thursday that the community can't use Proposal 2 as an excuse “to say that our belief of inclusion isn't real anymore.”

“It just simply requires a lot more hard work, a lot more outreach, a lot more creativity to both be within the law and promote inclusion,'' she said.

Proposal 2, approved in November, 2006, bans the use of race and gender preferences in public university admissions and government hiring and contracting.

Jeff Wiggins, chair of the MSU College Republicans, supported Proposal 2 and said he was pleased with the changes on campus.

``I think they're the small steps that we need to take to achieve what the proposal was intended to bring about,'' he said, ``and that's not focusing on what people look like and more about the person, their character, the content of their personality, their merits.''

The new law took effect Dec. 23, but Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University had sought a six-month extension allowing them to wrap up current admissions and financial aid cycles under existing and uniform rules.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the universities’ request on Jan. 19. All three universities have said they are complying or attempting to comply with Proposal 2.

Cases challenging all or parts of Proposal 2 continue in federal courts.

Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com





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