Campus group holds aff. action bake sale

    In preparation for the upcoming Supreme Court decision on the University of Michigan’s affirmative action cases, the College Republicans organized an information table and held a mock bake sale on May 29 to present its stance against affirmative action. The event prompted reactions from students on both sides of the issue, with some students protesting the table on Library Walk.

    According to College Republicans Vice President Amanda Steele, the group intended to make a statement on affirmative action and to start dialogue between people from the two sides of the issue.

    “”We want people to pay attention to the issue,”” said club member John Lobato. “”Even though a lot of people don’t agree with us, that’s not the point.””

    The group put together certificates that would have been redeemable for baked goods according to a specific value. The different prices were set according to minority groups. Minority females were priced at 25 cents, minority males at 50 cents, white females at one dollar and white males at two dollars.

    However, the lack of a permit prevented the group from actually distributing any food. Instead, they passed out certificates, various literature on affirmative action and presented a timeline of events regarding the issue.

    “”The biggest point was to have different rankings based on ethnicities and gender to show the absurdity of affirmative action,”” Steele said. “”It’s unfair and that’s how affirmative action works.””

    Advocates for affirmative action responded to the group’s table. While some engaged in debates on Library Walk, others held up signs in protest against the anti-affirmative action views. Protester Luis Lopez held a sign saying “”Diversity Sucks, Ban Affirmative Action.””

    According to Lopez, he intended to provoke reactions from passersby and show the consequences of not having affirmative action.

    “”I’m doing a mockery of their mockery,”” Lopez said. “”I’m doing this because it opens the dialogue and it gets people thinking. Maybe someone who had never thought of affirmative action before will realize that not having affirmative action causes less diversity.””

    The College Republican’s ranking of the different minority groups were met with criticism from those who said that the group’s method of presenting its point of view was offensive.

    “”Their wording choice for the poster — they didn’t need to portray it that way,”” said Revelle College senior Oriaku Kas-Osoka. “”To us, it’s like showing white supremacy, like we’re not as valued as much as someone who’s a white male.””

    According to members of the College Republicans, the table and poster were not intended to offend anyone.

    “”A lot of people were offended and I think I would agree with them, but that was the most effective way to spark debate,”” Steele said. “”Our main point was to find something to show the absurdity of the affirmative action system. The bigger and more trivial, the better we can show its absurdity and how it can so easily define who gets into college.””

    As literature on affirmative action continued to be passed out, others protested against the group’s method in presenting the issue.

    “”I think it’s important to make it known that there are a lot of people of color on this campus whose perspectives aren’t really taken into account,”” said John Muir College senior Angela Santos. “”I think that it’s important to start conversation between the two sides to get anywhere, but I don’t believe that this is an appropriate way to contest affirmative action.””

    Passersby also commented on the issue of affirmative action as some engaged in debate.

    “”I think it’s very positive to inform people about different views and opinions,”” said Andrew Richards, a visitor to the UCSD campus. “”People are looking at it and saying that this is racist, but they’re trying to say that skin color shouldn’t be taken into account.””

    Others felt the opposite and expressed their views on the issue and the event itself.

    “”They’re saying that race shouldn’t matter, but race does matter,”” said Revelle College senior Lisa Lopez. “”Being a person of color, you walk around and you get treated differently. You would figure in a place of higher education, you wouldn’t be treated differently, but this is exactly what this is. I’m being treated differently than some white person who walks by, and I find it offensive and they don’t.””

    Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger are the two Supreme Court cases questioning whether the undergraduate admissions program of the University of Michigan, a public institution, and the admission policies of its law school should take race into account as part of an affirmative action program. The decision, which is expected to come out during the summer, could be crucial in setting admissions standards for any publicly funded institution.

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