Who Are You Going to Believe, Us or Our Website?
NRO readers know that the Center for Equal Opportunity and American Civil Rights Institute have been contacting universities that have racially exclusive programs (internships, summer seminars, financial aid, etc.) and threatening to file complaints against them if the programs aren’t opened up to all students regardless of skin color. Most schools we’ve contacted have already agreed to change the programs—the Supreme Court’s decisions on affirmative action this summer doesn’t change the law for these programs, since they go way beyond mere “preferences”—but frequently officials will assert that the programs really weren’t racially exclusive anyway: They were just described that way on a website that needs to be updated. The latest issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education contains a letter to the editor from Shippensburg University that likewise draws a distinction between what a university policy (involving speech codes) really was and how it just happened to be described on a “Web site that had not been updated.”
Is it just me, or is this a ridiculous dodge? If a business has a sign posted out front that says, “Irish need not apply,” wouldn’t everyone laugh if the company said, “Oh, we really don’t have an anti-Irish policy; we just forget to take down the sign”? Is it that hard to keep a website updated?