Universities Anticipate Asian Boom, Bulk Order Ramen and Bubble Tea

By Sam Goldberg
July 2, 2023, 3:07 p.m. ET

Washington, DC - In a landscape-altering move that has sent ripples across the higher education scene, the Supreme Court's seminal decision to drastically curtail affirmative action has triggered an unanticipated surge in the Asian student population in universities throughout the United States (1).

Universities nationwide have barely had time to catch their breath. Within hours of the pivotal ruling, canteens on campuses nationwide began placing bulk orders for instant ramen, bubble tea ingredients, and fortune cookies, bracing for the sudden shift in demand. As one anonymous university dining services director noted, "We're here to cater to our students. If their preference leans more towards sushi than pizza, then that's what we'll provide."

Interestingly, the ruling does not completely erase considerations of race from the admissions process. It allows universities to consider an applicant's personal experiences of how race has influenced their life journey, but it must be "concretely tied" to a specific character trait or unique ability that the applicant can bring to the educational institution (1). Despite this nuance, universities are preparing for what they've dubbed the "Asian Invasion."

However, it's not all gloom and doom. The dissenting justices are looking for silver linings. "I've noticed that a significant number of Asian students are musically inclined," Justice Sotomayor pointed out in her dissent, "Perhaps if we emphasize 'proficiency in an instrument other than the piano or violin' as a key admission factor, we might find a way to maintain balance" (1).

In response to the ruling, the Biden administration has been working around the clock to draft a report on strategies for preserving diversity. Rumors suggest that the report includes unconventional recommendations such as "Bollywood Dance 101" and "Introduction to Latino Cuisine" as compulsory courses for all students (1).

On the flip side, some institutions are seeing potential benefits. "We've always had aspirations to start a competitive Math Olympiad team," confessed a dean from a midwestern college. "This might be the perfect opportunity." The dean also reported a noticeable increase in inquiries about the college's anime club and Go strategy sessions, hinting at the changing interests on campus.

It's evident that while the Supreme Court intended its decision to "treat students based on their experiences as an individual—not on the basis of race" (1), universities are steeling themselves for a profound shift in campus culture. As one student astutely observed, "I'm just hoping the library stocks up on manga."