Editorial

Affirmative action is one of the mt controversial topics facing colleges today, and one with which the UC system has had a lot of contact in the past few years.

In 1995, the UC Board of Regents passed measures SP-1 and SP-2, banning the use of affirmative action in hiring and admissions practices throughout the UC system.

In 1996, California Proposition 209 passed, banning affirmative action statewide, superceding any effects SP-1 and SP-2 may have had.

The UC Regents are now considering a measure called RE-28 that would replace SP-1 and SP-2, affirming the regents¹ commitment to diversity in the student population, as well as the staff of various UC campuses. The measure will be addressed at a board meeting next Wednesday.

We at the Guardian believe that the actions of the regents on this matter are both shady and deplorable, as they are using RE-28 as an empty gesture to boost their popularity and improve the image of the UC system.

Knowing that RE-28 is only a statement and has no real effect, the regents are taking the popular stance. They would not be doing this is Proposition 209 had not passed, which might make this actually have a real effect on admission and hiring practices.

It is also an attempt to bring an end to the issue that has plagued the regents lately. It has put them in the limelight of the nationwide debate on affirmative action and given them a lot of negative press.

In addition, RE-28 is not a full repeal of SP-1 and SP-2. It is more of a statement of the importance of diversity in the UC system today, and it reaffirms that the UC system will still follow the statewide ban.

Furthermore, the vagueness of RE-28 is a shield to hide behind if, in the future, Proposition 209 is overturned.

Because RE-28 is vague and unclear in its stance on affirmative action, it shows that the regents do not actually believe what they say: They still do not support affirmative action.

If they did support it, they would go all the way and fully repeal SP-1 and SP-2. This would be a stronger statement than enacting RE-28 and would require a more forthright and official stance on the regents¹ feelings regarding affirmative action.

Although the Guardian has not yet taken an official stance on whether SP-1 and SP-2 should be repealed, we think that if the regents truly believed that these measures do away with negative effects on the UC system and do not reflect their current feelings on affirmative action, they would go all the way and repeal them.

Instead, they are acting like cowards by merely throwing something at us to stop the debate on the issue.

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