Opinion: Making a point in the wrong way



Raytevia Evans

Raytevia Evans

Raytevia Evans is a second-year graduate student studying magazine journalism and managing editor of KentWired. Contact her at

[email protected].

The College Republicans club at University of California Berkeley has been receiving national coverage for their recent protest against Senate Bill 185, which would allow “the University of California and the California State University to consider race, gender, ethnicity, and national origin, along with other relevant factors, in undergraduate and graduate admissions, to the maximum extent permitted by the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

Furthermore, the bill would require the board of trustees to provide a report for the governor and the legislature that includes information regarding the “…number of students admitted, disaggregated by race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, geographic origin, and household income, and compared to the prior 2 years of admissions.” Surprisingly, this bill was passed by the state legislature and is waiting to either be approved or vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

In response, UC Berkeley’s College Republicans proposed the “Increase Diversity Bake Sale,” a bake sale based on race. For the event, the organization planned to sell baked goods to Caucasian men for $2, Asian men for $1.50, Latino men for $1, African-American men for 75 cents and Native-American men for 25 cents. Women would receive 25 cents off of those prices.

Once they posted the event on their Facebook page, the organization received quite a few negative responses — which they should have expected. The College Republicans are trying to make the point that nothing should be based on race, including undergraduate and graduate admissions at their university. The president of the organization, Shawn Lewis said the group agreed on the “race bake sale,” and they also agree that the idea is extremely racist.

First, the language of the bill is loosely written; to me, it seems the bill is trying to enforce a little more diversity in the higher education in California. However, the actual wording of the bill sounds as though it’s allowing the universities to be more lenient toward minorities during the admissions process to “even the playing field” or create a “fair chance” between them and white applicants — more like a handout if you will.

Second, the whole race bake sale idea is not original. The same event took place at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, where officials eventually shut it down. UC Irvine also shut down a similar bake sale saying it was discriminatory, and Methodist University in Texas also shut down a race bake sale stating that it was an “unsafe environment.”

Though I agree that a point should be made and something should be done about this bill that degradingly shows sympathy to minorities, I don’t think this was the most productive way to go about it. OK, so the idea is kind of humorous, but it’s more offensive and to be honest, they’re really not getting anywhere or making any progress in stopping the bill — which I would think would be their main priority.