At UMass Amherst, there were restrictions placed on what classes specific ethnic and racial groups could take. The ban on certain classes was on Iranian students, and after it was put into place there was much backlash from the school as well from society as a whole.
UMass Amherst has now lifted the ban that previously restricted Iranian students from enrolling in many science and engineering courses that the school had to offer. The ban was relatively new as it was put into place on February 12th, and was instituted because of a law that Congress passed in 2012. The university banned Iranian students from studying science and engineering for fear that they would then go back to Iran and work on Iran’s nuclear program. The ban on Iranian students taking classes in the College of Engineering and in the College of Natural Sciences was discriminatory and intolerant. The good news is that the university is reversing the ban – however, there is still the problem that it had to be enforced in the first place. The vice chancellor for research and engagement at UMass Amherst made comments on how “excluding students from admission conflicts with our institutional values and principles.” Yet, the university did not realize such “conflict” until the ban received harsh criticism. The discrimination against Iranian students was wrong, and fortunately it is realized by many.
Students at Bullis realize the issue of unjust prejudice against ethnic groups. Bullis senior Arman Salmasi comments on the ban at UMass Amherst, saying, “I believe that all students should have equality. This is pure discrimination at its worst. To turn some of the brightest minds in engineering away because of fear of the 5% chance they will actually want to work in Iran is absurd, so what UMass did is unacceptable.” Salmasi also says “there will always be anti-semitic rhetoric I believe or discrimination towards any group of people, but for a university to make issue out of it is just wrong.”
Now that UMass Amherst has reversed its ban on Iranian students taking science and engineering classes, students can enjoy the right to education that they should have without facing discrimination.