UC Berkeley Republicans Hold 'Diversity Bake Sale' to Protest Affirmative Action

September 27, 2011 - 3:00 AM

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Student Republicans at the University of California, Berkeley are demonstrating their opposition to affirmative action with an "Increase Diversity Bake Sale" on the famously liberal campus.

The Berkeley College Republicans are planning to hold the satirical bake sale Tuesday to protest legislation that would allow public universities in California to consider race and other factors in student admissions.

The Republican group says the bake sale is meant to show how affirmative action is a form of discrimination. Students will be charged different prices based on race, gender and ethnicity.

"Measuring any admit's merit based on race is intrinsically racist," according to the event posting on Facebook. "The purpose of the event is to offer another view to this policy of considering race in university admissions."

The event has ignited debate over affirmative action and free speech on campus.

In response to the bake 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."

The event was organized to counter the student association's plan to sponsor a call-in booth where students can urge Gov. Jerry Brown to sign SB185 by state Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina.

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 doesn't approve of their 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."

California has barred the consideration of race, ethnicity or gender in public college admissions, hiring and contracting since voters approved Proposition 209 in 1996.

Student Republican groups have held similar "bake sales" on other college campuses to oppose affirmative action policies.