A Muslim high school student named Ziad Ahmed wrote #BlackLivesMatter 100 times on an application question to Stanford University. He was accepted for admittance.
— Ziad Ahmed (@ziadtheactivist) April 1, 2017
Also, it’s important to note that this response was one answer on one application. Not my college essay or etc. There’s a lot more to it.
— Ziad Ahmed (@ziadtheactivist) April 4, 2017
Political Correctness run amok?
The prestigious Palo Alto, California university accepted him to the class of 2021. The topic of the application essay was “What matters to you and why?”
“I didn’t think I would get admitted to Stanford at all, but it’s quite refreshing to see that they view my unapologetic activism as an asset rather than a liability… My unapologetic progressivism is a central part of my identity, and I wanted that to be represented adequately in my application.” Ziad Ahmed
His response to the topic neither revealed the extent of Ahmed’s high school education nor any writing or critical thinking ability. Had he used the statement once at the beginning and the end of a treatise on why it mattered to him, we could see it being of consequence.
But his “unapologetic progressivism” is not the best standard for any University to choose students. What about real academic skills?
Ahmed feels that being an ally of Black Lives Matter is essential to who he is as a Muslim.
Stanford, for its part, says his answer was ‘fantastic,’ but that may be more about his reputation for activism rather than the actual response to the question. Universities appear to be in the throes of looking for activists rather than academic students.
The acceptance letter read:
“Everyone who received your application was inspired by your passion, determination, accomplishments, and heart…
You are, quite simply, a fantastic match with Stanford. You will bring something original and extraordinary to our campus – a place where you can learn, grow, and thrive.” Stanford University
Reputation for Activism
In fact, Ahmed has been an activist for a long time. He was invited to the White House for an Iftar dinner in 2015 as part of the Obama Administration’s participation in Ramadan.
He gave a TedXTalk in 2015 in Panama and also interned with the Martin O’Malley and Hillary Clinton campaigns.
He has been accepted to Princeton and Yale, as well as Stanford, and must decide which school to attend by May 1.