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FIRST ON FOX: The Southern Illinois University medical school is under fire after offering and promoting a race and sexual orientation-based scholarship, which some said is “discriminatory” and the “poster-child for what universities should not do.”

“The discrimination operates at multiple levels, including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity,” William Jacobson, founder of EqualProtect.org and a Cornell University Law Professor, told Fox News Digital. “This discriminatory eligibility scheme is the poster-child for what universities should not do.”

The Southern Illinois University (SIU) medical school’s Tracey Meares Representation Matters Scholarship is under fire for discriminating against applicants based on their race and sexual orientation.

The scholarship, which provides $1,000 to one medical student, is restricted to 4th-year medical students enrolled in accredited medical schools who “come from a background traditionally underrepresented in medicine.”

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The Southern Illinois University medical school was hit with a federal civil rights complaint. (SIU School of Medicine)

According to SIU School of Medicine, the “underrepresented” background includes “Black or African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native Americans (American Indian, Native Pacific Islander, Alaskan Native) or students who identify as LGBTQI+.”

Or if a student is not a minority, their gender identity can allow them to apply for the scholarship.

READ THE COMPLAINT BELOW. APP USERS: CLICK HERE. 

Jacobson argued that the prerequisite of race and sexual identity violates students’ 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law.

“After the Supreme Court’s decision in Students For Fair Admission, it is clear that discriminating on the basis of race to achieve diversity is not lawful, and violates, among other things, students’ 14th Amendment right to equal protection of the laws,” Jacobson said.

“As Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the majority opinion, “eliminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it,” Jacobson said.

The campus of SIU School of Medicine.

The campus of SIU School of Medicine.  (SIU School of Medicine)

The Cornell Law Professor said that the SIU program is representative of a “broader problem” in medical schools across the U.S.

“As research by the Equal Protection Projects affiliate CriticalRace.org has documented, a majority of medical schools have injected Critical Race Theory, and its variants such as DEI, deep into their educational institutions,” Jacobson said.

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“This worrisome trend damages students and patients, and is harmful to our societal goal of equal protection of the laws for all people without regard to race or ethnicity,” Jacobson said.

SIU School of Medicine campus

William Jacobson said that the Tracey Meares Representation Matters scholarship is discriminatory.  (SIU School of Medicine)

Jacobson said that the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights discrimination complaint came as the university is well aware of national non-discrimination rules.

“SIU School of Medicine knew better than to run educational scholarships that exclude students based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity,” Jacobson said.

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“SIU has vigorous non-discrimination rules. Why were they ignored here? Jacbson said. “Why did the SIU administrative apparatus devoted to non-discrimination not say anything? We call upon the President of SIU to commence a thorough investigation as to how such discrimination operated in the open contrary to federal and state law and university policy.”

doctor medical professional medicine

Doctor looking over paper work (Cyberguy.com)

Jacobson said that the SIU School of Medicine needs to adopt the approach of the Equal Protection Project and stand for no “good” form of racism.

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“The harm from racial educational barriers is that it racializes not just the specific program, but the entire campus. Sending a message to students that access to opportunities is dependent on race is damaging to the fabric of campus. Universities need to adopt the approach of
EqualProtect.org, which is that there is no ‘good’ form of racism, and the remedy for racism is not more racism.”

SIU School of Medicine and the Department of Education did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.



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