Bake sale reignites affirmative action debate

FRESNO, Calif.

The Berkeley College Republicans held a bake sale Tuesday charging $2 dollars a pastry for White students and less for minorities.

White Students - $2
Asian Americans - $1.50
Latinos - $1
African Americans - 75 cents
Native Americans - 25 cents
*25 cents off for women

"It's trying to segregate the students based off of their race, ethnicity," said Matthew Martinez, vice-chairman of the Fresno State College Republicans. It was a much quieter scene on the Fresno State campus but the controversy still had many students talking.

The Fresno State College Republicans sent a letter to their Berkeley counterpart supporting their actions. "They're just trying to prove a point that the bill itself is racist," said Martinez. Senate bill 185 is at the heart of the controversy. The state legislature passed a bill that would allow the UC and Cal State system to consider an applicant's race, ethnicity and gender in their admissions process.

"A student should be allowed into a school based off of their merit and what they did before their application process," said Martinez.

"Did the College Republicans of Berkeley go a little too far by selling racist-like pies, probably," said Fresno State student body president Selena Farnesi. "But they're not doing anything outside the scope of their role as a club."

A discussion of free speech that some feel could have been held a different way.

"It's become such a delicate subject that so few people are even willing to talk about these issues with the candor that probably they ought to be talked about," said Tom Holyoke, a political science professor at Fresno State. He thinks if Governor Jerry Brown signs the bill into law, it would face many legal obstacles.

"I would be a little surprised if this piece of legislation is not challenged in the courts as something that directly contravenes proposition 209," Holyoke said.

Proposition 209 was passed by California voters in 1996 which forbids using ethnicity in college admissions. It's unknown whether Gov. Brown will sign or veto the bill but what is known is that the controversy over race-based admissions won't go away anytime soon.

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