UC Berkeley's bake sale by Republican students, which mocks affirmative action in a way that recalls the school's long-dormant free speech tradition, is sparking angry top-down opposition from university officials and student government leaders.
The Associated Students of the University of California on Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution condemning discrimination in satire or seriousness in response to the GOP student bake sale, in which the price buyers pay depends on their race and sex.
Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and two vice chancellors followed up by issuing a letter supporting the student resolution, though the letter also cautioned that it can urge, but not mandate, a person to behave with civility.
The bake sale mocks a legislative proposal in Sacramento by charging white students the most, Asian paying a bit less, then Hispanics, after them African-Americans and finally Native Americans getting the best deal. Women of any race also get a discount.
The initiative by Berkeley College Republicans is aimed at a bill introduced by State Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina (Los Angeles County).
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The measure, in its own words, would authorize 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.
The bill states those criteria may be taken into consideration if and when the university, campus, college, school, or program is attempting to obtain educational benefit through the recruitment of a multifactored, diverse student body. SB185 also would require the trustees, and request the regents, to report in writing to the Legislature and the governor by Nov. 1, 2013, on the implementation of the bill, according to KPSP-TV.
Gov. Jerry Brown has until Oct. 8 to sign the bill.
Rising opposition to the bake sale also motivated supporters of the Republicans. Former UC Regent and affirmative-action opponent Ward Connerly appeared to help sell frosted cupcakes.
The point is, the people of California have said we don't want to see race and color in admissions, said Connerly, a multiracial Republican who wrote Proposition 209, California's voter-approved ban on race preferences in government programs.