A campaign is being mounted against the Office of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Minnesota after the publicly funded university program released its paid undergraduate internship program application, which was only open to applicants who identify as non-white.

The Legal Insurrection Foundation’s Equal Protection Project is urging the University of Minnesota (UMN) to revise its application procedures and to make its summer internship schemes accessible to all students, irrespective of their race.

“The U. Minnesota segregated summer program is inexcusable, and it’s shocking that a major university would so openly make educational opportunities open only to students of a certain skin color,” Bill Jacobson, president of the Equal Protection Project (EPP), told the associate press. “EqualProtect.org calls on the university immediately to open-up the summer program to students of all races, ethnicities, and skin colors.”

The UMN’s Office of Undergraduate Studies’ website notes that the Multicultural Summer Research Opportunities Program (MSROP) is “a comprehensive 10-week summer initiative wherein undergraduate students of color engage full-time with a faculty mentor on a research project.”

Chosen participants of the program will be awarded a $6,000 stipend to cover personal and research expenses, according to the program’s website. Nevertheless, to qualify for the program, applicants are required to be a person of color.

The program’s application underscores that its aim is “to equip students of color and Native Americans for graduate school.” As part of the application process, prospective students are asked to provide demographic details.

On May 19, Friday, the EPP formally lodged a federal civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”). The complaint highlighted the university’s alleged discrimination and urged that UMN’s discriminatory practices be halted at once, with all necessary enforcement action taken.

“There is no good form of racial discrimination. Depriving white students of educational opportunities does not promote racial or any other form of justice,” Jacobson continued. “U. Minnesota’s conduct is inexcusable.”

The EPP argued that UMN’s internship scheme contravenes Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“We urge the U.S. Department of Education to fully investigate how pervasive segregationist practices are at U. Minnesota. Federal funding should not be used to promote educational opportunities restricted by skin color,” Jacobson told the associated press. “Federal funding for U. Minnesota needs to be reevaluated.”

“At EqualProtect.org we believe that the remedy for racism can never be more racism, it’s equal treatment of all persons without regard to race,” Jacobson continued. “Unfortunately, U. Minnesota appears to think that pitting students against each other based on race by making educational opportunities available based on skin color is the answer, but that just compounds the problems.”