The Fisher Case

With midterms swamping me, I just now had the opportunity to read the case that flooded people’s Facebook feeds everywhere. It is an interesting case, to say the least. However, the implications are quite ambiguous, and the outcome will more than likely depend on the temperament of the Supreme Court when they review it.

Anyway, here’s the way I see this case:

What didn’t happen

With all due respect toward Ms. Fisher, let me be very clear that the University of Texas did not, in any way, shape, or form, discriminate against you. Texas is one of the original eight “Public Ivy League Schools,” and if you were not able to gain admittance to Texas by being in the top ten percent of your high school class, then you certainly would not have gained admittance to the actual Ivy League schools to which we compare ourselves. (That is, I’m not sure Harvard accepts many people who graduate outside the top ten percent of their class either.) Furthermore, if you had put in a comparable good faith effort into trying to get into the top ten percent of your high school class, then I am sure your Personal Achievement Index, which is very clearly outlined in the case, would have reflected that. Therefore, as hurtful as it may sound, you were not accepted into the University of Texas because you did not meet the admission standards, not because you were discriminated against in any way.

What may happen

What may happen is very tricky because most of the laws that we are dealing with were intended to be temporary. In Grutter, the case that Fisher’s case relies very heavily upon, Sandra Day O’Connor writes that she hopes many of the affirmative action-type laws will be temporary and unnecessary a generation from now. The idea is that the discriminatory way of thinking would disappear by then. That being said, the Top Ten Percent Rule will go away at some point in the future. The question is when and whether we expected this day to come so soon. Continue reading The Fisher Case

Last Semester Battle!

The Battle Continues...

In 74 days, 13 hours, 44 minutes, and 14 seconds (when I was writing this), I will be walking on stage in my cap and gown in front of a beaming crowd of MPAs and their celebrating proud families and friends. But before fast forwarding to that day of cameras and diplomas, let me paint a picture of what’s going on in my very last semester of MPA:

CPA Exam

It was 5:45 in the morning when I woke up. I was tired, yet I could not stay asleep any longer. I was ready to get it over with. It had been over a month since I started preparing for this test, and I was ready to fight the battle…

These were my thoughts two and a half hours before taking one of the CPA Exam sections. I was extremely nervous, regardless of the amount of time I had put in to study for the exam, I felt that I still was not prepared enough. There will always be a problem left to review or a formula left to memorize. I was panicking, yet I managed to calm myself down after eating a protein-loaded breakfast that would hopefully stimulate my brain. Continue reading Last Semester Battle!

And the Oscar goes to…

Accounting firms in the public eye

Did anyone else see the PwC partners walking the Academy’s votes down the red carpet at the Oscars? There are a lot of things in the popular media that are actually done by accounting firms. The accounting nerd in me was really excited to see “PricewaterhouseCoopers” on the screen of the Oscars. So of course I snapped a quick iPhone photo, as displayed on the left. This spun me into some web research (Googling) about accounting firms in popular culture and I want to share it with you all.

PwC has been in charge of counting the ballots for the Academy Awards for 78 years, and the accountants in charge actually know the winners 48 hours ahead of the public. But even crazier is that, for all eternity, these partners know who came in second place, and are sworn to secrecy- probably because sometimes, the runner-up misses the Oscar by one vote. In the 78 years of counting ballots, there has been no security issues, leaked winners or miscounts. On the day of the awards, the two partners in charge take separate routes to Kodak Theater, with LAPD officers in tow. They both hold identical briefcases with one whole set of the winning envelopes. Also, they MEMORIZE the winners in case something happens to these briefcases. At the show, they stand in the wings and hand the envelopes to the presenters before they walk on stage. Sounds like a job I would LOVE to have!

It is interesting to note that after all the accounting scandals in the early 2000s, when the world looked down on the accounting industry, there were critics who actually raised suspicions that PwC was not to be trusted with the counting of the Academy Awards ballots. Of course, as I stated before, PwC has always handled the task with the upmost professionalism and accuracy, however, this was a reflection of the times.

Other instances of public accounting firms in popular culture:

  • E&Y counts the ballots for the Golden Globes
  • KPMG sponsors professional golfer, Phil Mickelson
  • Deloitte Sponsors the U.S. Olympic Committee

Greetings from Chicago!

Downtown Chicago!

Greetings from the Windy City!

I’m writing from a friend’s couch in downtown Chicago, enjoying the warmth of the indoors. This weekend, I am away from dear Austin to attend a three-day-long writing conference hosted by AWP. It’s going really well. And when not sitting in on panels entitled “Beyond Pulp – The Futuristic and Fantastic as Literary Fiction” and “Wilderness Writing: Theory and Practice,” I’m working on some Excel assignments for my ITAC (Information Technology Accounting Control) class, where we complete tutorials, create our own macros, and use conditional formatting to perform data analysis. I’m also wrapping up a work paper for an internal audit project which has my audit team working closely with the Office of the City Auditor (OCA). It’s a great, though at the moment overwhelming, combination of all sorts of activity.

I can speak a little further about my ITAC assignment in that it’s proving amazingly useful towards the work I’m currently doing for my internship at Greenlights. I am working with our donor database and trying to get good data from our archives to provide the development director with information. Learning about conditional formatting (IF functions and whatnot) and macros has really helped me finesse my approach to data analysis. I’m hoping by the end of the internship to produce a macros for the organization that sorts out information about our donors that will be really valuable for planning. Continue reading Greetings from Chicago!

MPA Council takes Project 2012

The River City Youth Foundation Success Center, where we spent our morning volunteering

Just last Saturday,MPA Council joined approximately 2000 other volunteers to reach out and improve the greater Austin community for Project 2012, UT’s largest day of service. What an experience it was!

Here’s a summary of my memorable day: I had to wake up quite early (especially for a college student) in order to report for duty with council members. We, along with the other morning shift volunteers, were then welcomed and thanked for our help by multiple local politicians. We also were lucky enough to watch the Dove Springs Middle School cheerleading squad perform for us! It was definitely the highlight of the ceremony.

We then went to our volunteer location, River City Youth Foundation, in south Austin. They had a multitude of tasks for us to complete to improve the facility for Austin’s youth. Some members and I were responsible for repainting the interior of the complex, while other members helped re-mulch the trails by shoveling mulch into a wheelbarrow. Continue reading MPA Council takes Project 2012

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