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Council discusses race in admissions

Student Council intended to vote on two resolutions dealing with affirmative action last night.

But semantics inhibited their procedures and after five hours Council had not voted or debated on the resolutions - after spending the majority of their meeting amending the resolutions and debating whether to discuss them at all.

The issue of affirmative action has engulfed the University in recent weeks after the Virginia State Conference National Association for the Advancement of Colored People called for Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III (R) to remove Board of Visitors member Terence P. Ross.

The State NAACP's resolution demanded Ross' removal in response to his statements that the "University is clearly in some cases reaching a bit down its academic standards" while recruiting black students.

Though the issue is not on the Board's agenda for this weekend's meeting, some Council representatives said they had hoped to take a stance on the issue before then.

But Council Chief Financial Officer John Finley said it did not matter if Council acted now or later.

"The admissions policy is not in danger of being ruled on by the Supreme Court over Fall Break," Finley said.

But College Rep. Nick Jabbour pointed out that many other major University organizations, such as the Faculty Senate, have made their positions on the issue clear.

"I don't think we can delay on this any more," Jabbour said.

Student Board member Robert Schoenvogel attended the meeting, and urged Council to wait before taking action.

Voting on the resolutions "might create more divisions than common ground," Schoenvogel said.

But Council defeated a motion made by College Rep. Brendan Dignan to postpone voting on the resolutions for two weeks.

In related news, Saturday the State Faculty Senate of Virginia voted unanimously to commend the University's Faculty Senate and its chairman, David T. Gies, as well as University President John T. Casteen III for their support of equal opportunity and the University's current admissions policies.

The State Faculty Senate also passed a resolution - a modified version of the resolution passed by the University's Faculty Senate - in which it said, "The consideration of race, as one of many factors for admission, is both appropriate and justified."

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