October 28, 1983
The board of trustees met on campus, reviewing the college’s position on the Solomon Amendment and the recently released 1980 Black Caucus report criticizing Vassar’s affirmative action policy.
President Smith and a number of students spoke out against the Solomon Amendment to the Defense Authorization Act of 1982—a Federal law that required male students to register with Selective Service to qualify for Federal financial aid. The law was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1984.
The Black Caucus report proposed the appointment of an affirmative action officer and development of a “comprehensive Affirmative Action Plan and Program relating to the overall integration of Vassar in all areas.” The Caucus also suggested that the personnel and admissions offices “be directed to formulate and adopt radical new procedures to widen and make more effective their minority recruitment pool/sources”—through the use of “target-cities” and “target schools” programs for student recruitment. The Caucus further recommended that the personnel office meet with members of the Poughkeepsie black community to recruit qualified job applicants.
Trustee Harold Healy affirmed after the meeting that racial diversity “is the highest priority the trustees have.” The Miscellany News