New lawsuit targets program to diversify NY’s college STEM majors

New lawsuit targets program to diversify NY’s college STEM majors

A prominent conservative legal foundation is backing a new lawsuit challenging a New York state program that seeks to increase the enrollment of “historically underrepresented” students in college science and technology programs on the grounds that it excludes some white and Asian American students, according to legal filings.

The Pacific Legal Foundation is taking aim at the state’s 39-year-old Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP), which offers eligible students in seventh through 12th grade extra summer courses at local colleges and admissions help.

The lawsuit claims the program violates the Constitution’s equal protection clause by making Black, Hispanic, and Native American students automatically eligible, regardless of their family income, according to the federal suit filed Wednesday in New York’s Northern District. White and Asian American students are only eligible if their families fall below the income threshold.

“All students of all races should have equal rights based on their merit to participate in programs like New York State’s STEP,” said Wai Wah Chin, the president of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York and a plaintiff in the case, in a statement.

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