A Republican group at the University of California, Berkeley has cooked up controversy with a plan to hold an “Increase Diversity Bake Sale” as a satirical way to oppose legislation that would allow public colleges to consider race and other factors in student admissions.
Students at the Berkeley College Republicans’ event set for Tuesday will be charged different prices based on race, gender and ethnicity, with white students charged the most, Native Americans the least, and women receiving a 25 percent discount, according to the Facebook event posting.
“If you don’t come, you’re a racist!” the post declares. The group’s website contains a link to the Facebook page.
In response to the sale, the Associated Students of the University of California unanimously approved a resolution Sunday that “condemns the use of discrimination whether it is in satire or in seriousness by any student group.”
Student Republican groups have held similar events on other college campuses to oppose affirmative action policies.
The Berkeley event is aimed at opposing a bill on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk that would allow the University of California and California State University systems to consider race, ethnicity and gender while deciding admissions.
California previously banned affirmative action in public college admissions, hiring and contracting when voters approved Proposition 209 in 1996.
The bake sale on the famously liberal Berkeley campus was organized to counter the student association’s plan to sponsor a call-in booth where students can urge the governor to sign SB185, the bill authored by Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina.
Members of the Republican group say the bake sale is meant to show how affirmative action policies are a form of discrimination.
“Measuring any admit’s merit based on race is intrinsically racist,” according to the event posting. “The pricing structure of the baked goods is meant to be satirical, while urging students to think more critically about the implications of this policy.”
Joey Freeman, a spokesman for the student body association, said campus Republicans have the right to organize against the legislation and the campus phone-in effort, but he’s disappointed in the tactics.
“It is very offensive to many communities on campus,” Freeman said. “We try to promote a healthy campus climate. Events like this bake sale get in the way of respect for one another.”
Printed on September 27, 2011 as: 'Diversity bake sale' starts discrimination disputes at Berkeley