Brian Stiltner and Suzanne Deschênes

Course Name

Honors Capstone

Course Number


Document Type


Original Publication Date

December 13, 2018

Publication Date



Affirmative action, a program started in the 1960s to address discrimination in employment, has always been controversial. Vigorous debate in the last several years has occurred over the application of affirmative action in higher education admissions. Recently, some of the country’s most elite institutions, including Harvard University and Yale University, have been the targets of lawsuits and intense public scrutiny. The purpose of this paper is to examine the origin and evolution of this scrutinized policy to better comprehend its current value. Overall, at the heart of its intended purpose, affirmative action is a critical and necessary policy; however, to maintain its true effectiveness, the policy needs to be studied and refined to minimize some of its negative consequences. In order to establish this argument, affirmative action will be viewed through an interdisciplinary lens, drawing on the fields of history, law, and ethics.


Meagan Schantz is a student in the Thomas More Honors Program at Sacred Heart University.

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Creative Commons License
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