In August 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. told the world: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Now, fifty years later, Mark Rosenwein CC ‘19 says he has perfected this art of judging minorities “by the content of their character.” After spending a little over a year at Columbia, Rosenwein is confident that he can see through opaque affirmative action practices and tell you exactly which minority students deserve to be here.
According to Rosenwein, discerning the qualified minorities from the unqualified is not an exact science. “It’s not like you can just give points for certain accomplishments and arrive at a sum that indicates whether or not someone deserves to be at Columbia. It’s more of a gut feeling, or an art --though knowing their SAT scores never hurts.”
Though the process is imprecise, Rosenwein says there are some heuristics he uses to judge the merit of his low-income classmates of color: “I start by asking myself some basic questions: Does it seem like their high school GPA could have been as high as mine? – which is very high, by the way.”
Rosenwein dedicated himself to dissecting affirmative action practices after seeing his white peers in high school suffer grave injustice at the hands of college admissions officers. “My friend, Kyle, like many great white men before him, scored 2340 on his SAT and was captain of the golf team, but Dartmouth rejected him on grounds of his whiteness,” Rosenwein said. “If a bastion of white privilege like Dartmouth is hostile to caucasian applicants, what’s that say about the admissions practices at the rest of the Ivies?”
Rosenwein, however, acknowledges the drawbacks of relying on quantitative metrics. “A person can’t be summarized by a number,” the freshman insisted. “That’s why I also judge minority students based on whether they’re in the same extracurriculars as me, wear J Crew, or are willing to overlook the fact that I don’t shower enough.”
Rosenwein hopes to teach others his gift in order to make the world a fairer place. “We practically live in a post-racial America, and it’s time for true equality to prevail. May the man who pays the most for his SAT prep class win.”