The arguments in the lawsuit, filed in 2014, ended on Friday with both sides offering closing statements.
The university continues to deny that it discriminated against Asian applicants, while the student group is still adamant on its stand that university applies a system aimed at maintaining a virtually unalterable proportion of students from different ethnic groups.
“The demographics of those here with us today as this trial ends reflect the enormous progress we have made in becoming a more diverse and inclusive society and community,” Harvard’s attorney William F. Lee told the court. “The plaintiff wants to turn back that clock. The plaintiff thinks, as they told us under oath, in terms of the efficient allocation of minority students and winners and losers.”
The 15-day trial, which began in a federal court in Boston last month, saw people from both sides testifying in support of their respective claims.
John M. Hughes, who represented the student organization, accused Harvard during his closing statement of indulging in ”bias” and “stereotyping” when it comes to admitting Asian-American applicants.
“Harvard suggests Asian Americans are a group of one-dimensional academic superstars,” Hughes told the court.
On October 14, hundreds of Asian-American community leaders and representatives held a mass rally at Boston’s Copley Square against the university.
The U.S. Department of Justice has also filed a statement of interest before the court alleging the school of rating applicants of Asian-American origin lower on leadership and ability scores.