Occidental’s mission is grounded in the inextricably linked values of diversity and excellence, and our commitment to maintaining a diverse and distinguished student body is unchanging.

On June 29, 2023, the United States Supreme Court issued rulings in two major cases that will impact the ability of colleges and universities, including Occidental College, to consider race as a factor in the admissions process for first-year and transfer students.

While our understanding of the full impact of these rulings is evolving, they appear to reverse or undermine decades of legal precedent. Race-conscious admissions practices have sought to promote diverse and multidimensional learning environments for the benefit of all students, despite the legacies of inequality that create barriers to higher education for talented and deserving students of color. These decisions remove an important tool, but do not blunt our resolve to continue supporting campus diversity through other legally available means.

Occidental College will conform its policies and practices to the extent necessary to comply with the Supreme Court’s decisions. As part of this effort, we will be working closely with our own legal counsel, the Board of Trustees, the Department of Education, and higher education associations at the local, state and federal levels.

The College's longstanding practice of recruiting talented students from a wide range of backgrounds and its holistic review of all applicants makes it possible for the College to enroll a diverse group of high-performing undergraduates who shine in the classroom, the lab and the studio. Every Occidental student has earned the right to be here. Their impressive record of personal and academic achievement in college and after graduation speaks for itself.

We will continue to update the Occidental community as we learn more and as the long-term effects of the Court’s decision become clearer. 

President Elam's campus message, 7/26/23

President Elam's campus message, 6/29/23

President Elam's campus message, 5/11/23





Contact the Office of Equity & Justice
AGC Room 108