Kansas State University (KSU) was hit with a civil rights complaint for a scholarship program that allegedly racially discriminates, and according to a legal nonprofit organization, creates a “racial litmus test” for applicants.
The Legal Insurrection Foundation’s Equal Protection Project filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights Aug. 16 over the university’s Joey Lee Garmon Scholarship, which is designed for applicants “of an ethnic group that has been historically and traditionally oppressed in the achievement of academic and leadership endeavors,” according to the school’s website.
EPP President William Jacobson told Fox News Digital that the racial requirements for the program is a, “constitutional and legal harm.”
“Erecting barriers to access based on race and ethnicity is a constitutional and legal harm,” Jacobson said. “There undoubtedly are students who will not bother to apply because they have the wrong skin color or ancestry. KSU not only needs to drop the racial litmus test, but also promote the fact that it is doing so.”
According to the school’s website, the Garmon Scholarship is named after Joey Lee Garmon — an African American male who was “unable to find sensitive nurturing of his cultural identity” in a “predominantly European American community.”
Due to his “desperate and hopeless situation,” Garmon “gave up on himself and turned to drugs,” and eventually committed suicide in 1972, at the age of 24, the school’s website says.
The Garmon Scholarship provides $700 to currently enrolled, fulltime undergraduate KSU students “of historically underrepresented backgrounds.”
The scholarship says it seeks to include students “of African American, American Indian, Asian American, and Latinx American heritage.”
Jacobson said that KSU “apparently did not get the message” the Supreme Court’s recent ruling with rejects the use of race as a factor in college admissions as a violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
“Kansas State University apparently did not get the message of the Supreme Court’s recent affirmative action ruling. Racial discrimination in the name of ‘diversity’ is not okay,” Jacobson said. “While the Supreme Court’s decision was in the context of admissions, its ruling on the Equal Protection Clause applies more broadly whenever race is used as a factor in educational opportunities.”
In a 6-3 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion that, “A benefit to a student who overcame racial discrimination, for example, must be tied to that student’s courage and determination.”
“Or a benefit to a student whose heritage or culture motivated him or her to assume a leadership role or attain a particular goal must be tied to that student’s unique ability to contribute to the university. In other words, the student must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual — not on the basis of race,” the opinion reads.
Jacobson said the EPP is calling upon the university to remove the alleged “racial litmus test” on the Garmon Scholarship and open it to all students.
“We call on the KSU President to look into how this racial preference made its way onto campus, and to commence an investigation whether any other racial preferences exist,” Jacobson told Fox News Digital. “EqualProtect.org would be willing to assist in such an investigation without charge to the university in the interest of promoting equality and equal protection.”
The EPP has previously filed similar civil rights complaints against programs at the State University of New York at Buffalo, SUNY Buffalo’s School of Law and the University of Nebraska.
Kansas State University did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.