Friday, July 13, 2012

It's Really Over...

It's official. Constitutional Law class has ended and so has HSP. I'm really sad that it's all over. It feels like I checked into my dorm and met my roommate yesterday, not three weeks ago. I've probably stated that so many times but I can't reiterate how fast time flies. Last night was so much fun; one of my floormates painted my nails and we had an in-depth conversation with an RA and two other girls about Jersey Shore. It was a really fun night.

My nails! 
Emma and I - she did my nails 
Mary and me
After getting breakfast, I went to class and we discussed last night's cases. They all either dealt with affirmative action or equal protection.

  • Regents of University of California v. Bakke - Alan Bakke, a white male, applied to medical school at UC Davis. 16 spots were reserved for minorities. Bakke had been denied admission twice and decided to challenge the constitutionality of the admission policy for minorities. It turned out the minorities had lower scores than him. The superior court held that UC Davis' program violated some of the Civl Rights Act and the constitution. 
  • City of Richmond v. J.A. Carson - In 1983, Richmond, Virginia, passed an ordinance requiring non-minority contractors to subcontract 30 percent of all city-awarded projects to minority-owned businesses. This quota was a remedy for past discrimination.
  • Adarand Constructors Inc. v. Pena - Adaranad Constructors, a highway company specializing in guardrail work, submitted a low bid to Mountain Gavel. But Gonzales Construction Company, a Hispanic-owned company, was selected for work instead. Mountain Gavel picked the Gonzales Company instead of Adarand based on affirmative action policies. Adarand Inc. filed suit.
  • Gratz v. Bollinger - The University of Michigan gave preference to applicants from underrepresented minority groups but in the 1990s set aside a number of seats in each entering class. In the late '90s they starting using a 150 point scale. Ms. Gratz had a 3.8 GPA and ACT composite score of 25 but was put on the waitlist. All minorities who had that GPA and ACT score were admitted, so she filed a lawsuit. 
  • Grutter v. Bollinger - The University of Michigan Law School adopted an admissions policy based on an index score representing a composite LSAT score and the undergraduate GPA. This policy also used affirmative action policies towards minorities. Barbara Grutter was an unsuccessful white applicant who challenged this law. 
  • Rational Basis Scrutiny -  Challenges the law/policy that noticeably serves a legitimate state interest.
  • Intermediate Scrutiny - 1) Serves an important state interest and 2) Substantially related to serving that interest
  • Strict Scrutiny - 1) Has a compelling state interest, 2) Narrowly tailored to serve interest, and 3) Least restrictive means possible 
  • Reasons for affirmative action in medical school - 1) Increase the number of minorities in medical school, 2) Counter effects of social discrimination, 3) Increase number of doctors in underserved areas, and 4) obtain education benefits of diversity.
The end of the morning session was really hard because I had to say goodbye to my three friends from Cairo, Khadijah, Talia, and Nancy. I will miss them so much and I will definitely keep in touch with them.

Four of us (: 
I had lunch with 4 girls from my suite and my RA, Kristen. It was relaxing to just eat with them on the last day and enjoy each other's company.

(From left to right) Me, Jennifer, Nas, Nathalie, and RA Kristen 
Belgium waffle with ice cream, cinnamon crusted apple slices, strawberries, maple syrup, and whipped cream 
Roomie love! 
The afternoon session was fun. We presented our debates and got our research papers back. In terms of this debate, I did a lot better with this team. We did not win, but we did not lose either - we received a split decision from the jury. I felt we presented our case well but definitely could understand what Jeffrey and Luke wanted us to work on. I was really proud of Lucas for winning the second debate! He definitely knows what he is doing.

I was the first person to get my research paper back, and I didn't even want to look at it at first. But then I turned it to the last page and started jumping down at my grade: 

My grade! 
This is going to sound overdramatic but I really poured my heart and soul into that paper. I was so happy that I received an A- and completely understood the comments Jeffrey gave me (Luke didn't grade my paper. I was also happy because both admitted Jeffrey was the harder grader!). I've really proved to myself that I can do challenging work and still come out on top.

And then it was time for goodbyes. Saying goodbye to the students was really hard, as I've made friends with majority of them. I will definitely miss them but will keep in touch with them in the future.

Jeffrey, myself, and Luke 
Suzanne and I 
After class, the Columbia cohort and Rowland all went to Highland Parks, where we were filmed to be in a music video (I think) and even bumped into Ms. L and one of her sons! Then we went to Brooklyn  and got dinner, and then we walked on the Brooklyn Bridge. The Bridge is absolutely beautiful and I loved the sights.

Beautiful artwork at Highland Park 
Empire State Building 
Group photo at the Italian restaurant we went to 
Selfies on the Brooklyn Bridge 
View from the bridge (1) 
View from the bridge (2) 
Upon return to the campus, Rowland and I decided to attend the final dance. Brittany joined us and we all had a lot of fun. The song selection and drinks were really good, and it was nice to release and spend time with my fellow Lions. After the dance ended the three of us went to my floor and had good conversations with the other floormates.

Saying goodbye to Rowland and Brittany was really hard. I'm not sure I'll see them in the morning before we leave but I know I'll miss them so much. I'm so glad I met them and have had so many fun times with both of them.

Tomorrow we go back to California, which just sounds so...odd. I can't believe we're going home! This time has flown by so fast. I just...can't believe it.

Rowland, myself, and Brittany at the dance 

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