The “Bamboo” Ceiling is defined as a “combination of individual, cultural, and organizational factors that impede Asian Americans’ career progress inside organizations.”
Although this term, as an allusion to the gendered “glass” ceiling, is used more often used in the corporate world, it is has been gaining attention when used to describe what some might see as inequities in the college admissions process.
There are many sides to the issue, and a one opinion in particular has been the topic over many controversies: how being Asian puts you at an disadvantage.
This Washington Post article makes a good point about how the number of Asian Americans that meet the expectations required for certain colleges exceed their 6% representation in the U.S. population, on which colleges base their class percentages. The purpose that lies behind this structure of correlating the U.S. population with that of a college class is to make sure that campuses are “culturally diverse” and not predominated by any one cultural or class related attitudes and perspectives.
As it turns out, however, this ideal has led to -in the harsh words of some opponents- discrimination against minorities by putting one type of minority above another; for example, the intentions behind affirmative action mean well, but, ironically, has led to much controversy.
Bottom line, if colleges did not consider race in the admissions process, the number of not only Asian American but white students would swell and possibly disrupt the diversity of a college campus. This is where many students and parents find themselves at odds with certain admission policies.
On one side, it is argued that race-conscious evaluation of students aims to create equal opportunity and offer compensation to minority groups that have suffered discrimination in the past. However, on the other hand, students not included in the specified minority groups insist that giving these groups a slight priority over others is in itself a repetition of history.
The idea of “race-blind” education is still a hotly debated topic among Millennials. Although it is agreed that success should achieved on an equal plane, it’s hard to say how we can assure that students have the same advantages when students come from all different kinds of backgrounds and have had different opportunities growing up.
If America is the land of “equal opportunity” in the eyes of the first generation of immigrants coming to America with big dreams, shouldn’t the children that they raise in this land grow up knowing that their parents were right? As inheritors of the education system, Millennials also inherit this responsibility of furthering our current definition of “equality” and whether or not it should or should not mean different things depending on the student involved.
Susan Lin is a Featured Blogger for Mobilize.org’s The Millennial Report. Although she was born in Brooklyn, New York, she’s an all California girl. Currently on her journey through high school, Susan wants to become more involved with the world and community around her while pursuing her dreams of journalism and design.