ASUC phone bank benefits from bake sale publicity

Oppoenents of the Increase Diversity bake sale hold signs on Upper Sproul Plaza.
Derek Remsburg/Staff
Oppoenents of the Increase Diversity bake sale hold signs on Upper Sproul Plaza.

Across from the Berkeley College Republicans’ “Increase Diversity Bake Sale” on Upper Sproul Plaza — which attracted flocks of students and media Tuesday — representatives from the ASUC quietly recruited students to call the state in support of three bills, including the one that sparked the controversy.

The phone bank, which was organized after the ASUC Senate unanimously voted to pass a bill supporting SB 185, triggered the Berkeley College Republicans’ bake sale, which satirically protested the effort by selling baked goods at different prices based on race and sex.

“People ask, ‘Are you protesting Berkeley College Republicans?’ But no, they’re actually protesting us,” said Nolan Pack, a third-year student and volunteer at the phone banking event.

Devonte Jackson, campus organizing director for state affairs for the ASUC and UCSA, said that attendance for the phone bank doubled on the Facebook page after the announcement of the bake sale. He added that organizers were hoping to have around 200 people sign up to call the state to encourage Brown to sign the bill. By the end of the day, the event had gathered 217 signed commitments to call.

“The BCR have done nothing but help,” Jackson said. “All press is not good press. It’s becoming a campus climate issue, not a political issue. It’s reducing the community and their struggles to a cupcake, which is ridiculous.”

At a similar phone banking event held at the state legislature Aug. 19 advocating for the passage of AB 131, UC Berkeley gathered only 26 of the UC system’s total 652 commitments to call the legislature, according to Darius Kemp, organizing and communications director for UCSA.

The ASUC had planned a phone banking event on campus for Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to advocate for the approval of SB 185 by Gov. Jerry Brown.  The bill would authorize the UC system and CSU system to “consider race, gender, ethnicity, and national origin, along with other relevant factors, in undergraduate and graduate admissions.”

The ASUC also advocated for SB 397, which would establish online voter registration, and AB 131, the second part of the California DREAM Act, which would authorize undocumented students to receive funding from the state. Brown has until Oct. 9 to approve all three bills.

The event on Tuesday was organized through the ASUC Office of the External Affairs Vice President as part of a larger UCSA call-in day on all UC campuses except UC Davis. ASUC External Affairs Vice President Joey Freeman said that the event was “something they hadn’t seen before” in terms of volunteer turnout.

UC Berkeley junior Patrick Tamashiro said that while he already knew about the ASUC phone bank, the bake sale catalyzed the event and backfired for the Berkeley College Republicans because it helped the cause they intended to oppose by creating publicity for it.

Freeman said that awareness of the bill was one positive outcome to the controversial sale.

“Even though it’s been done in a way I don’t necessarily approve of, a lot of people are talking about it that wouldn’t necessarily be talking about it,” he said.

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  • Anonymous

    Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau ($500,000 salary) of University of California Berkeley displaces qualified
    for public university education at Cal. Californians for $50,600  payment by FOREIGN students.

     

    The University
    of California Berkeley,
    ranked # 70 Forbes, is not increasing enrollment.  $50,600 tuition FOREIGN students are accepted
    by Birgeneau at the expense of qualified instate students.

     

    UC Regent Chairwoman Lansing and President Yudof agree discriminating
    against instate Californians for admission to UC Berkeley. Birgeneau, Yudof, Lansing need to answer to
    Californians.

     

    Your opinion makes a difference; email UC Board of
    Regents   [email protected]

  • Class of 09

    It’s good to know the ASUC spends its time doing crap like this and not important stuff for those that are ALREADY on the campus.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t worry.  There are lots of phone banks calling for Governor Brown to VETO AB 131.  Also, a referendum is already under way to rescind AB 131 if signed as well as a recall movement to remove Mr. Brown from office, if he signs it.

    You go BCR!  Berkely could never stand to see the truth, only the absurd smug rhetoric that passes for tolerance and inclusiveness, but is really just covering their own jobs.  Unless you really want to major in basket weaving.

    • Really?

      Excuse me, I’m not sure if you realize this. But this article really has not much to do with AB 131. This is about SB 185… and thats what BCR has a problem with. I’ll just go back to getting a degree now…

      And please, basket making? Best you can do? As a Native American woman, who has never seen a single basket woven on the UCB campus I find that slightly offensive. But, it is quite obvious that you are speaking from a place of privilege and trying to be as offensive as possible to the Berkeley community. 

    • Anonymous

      Dude, dude, dude. 
      #1) He’s going to sign the bill.
      #2) “The referendum” isn’t going to happen and if it does it won’t pass.
      #3) Gov. Brown is not going to be recalled. He’s freaking awesome!

      It’s obvious that you have no clue what is going. Basket weaving really? Some people… *sigh*

      • Why is Moonbeam Brown “awesome”, other than the fact he believes some of the same silly crap as you do?

    • Anonymous

      Aww-C’mon guys–I was supporting these hardworking Students. 

      Please read the article: 

      “The ASUC also advocated for SB 397, which would establish online voter registration, and AB 131,
      the second part of the California DREAM Act, which would authorize
      undocumented students to receive funding from the state. Brown has until
      Oct. 9 to approve all three bills.”

      Place of privilege?, you’re offended by basket weaving?–Aren’t you denying your heritage?  Ok, then–your major in nail painting.