UCLA student group hosts controversial ‘affirmative action bake sale’

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Christopher Hoo/The Daily Bruin/Courtesy

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A UCLA student group hosted an “affirmative action bake sale” Friday evocative of a similar sale on the UC Berkeley campus in fall 2011.

The UCLA group, Young Americans for Liberty, sold baked goods at prices varying according to the customer’s race — a tactic used in the bake sale on the UC Berkeley campus — to represent the idea that the consideration of race in university admissions is a form of reverse discrimination, according to the Daily Bruin.

The group set up dozens of cookies on two tables and handed out pamphlets and copies of the U.S. Constitution, the Daily Bruin said.

The bake sale sparked backlash from many members of the UCLA community. One student said the group’s stance was dangerous to the campus climate, and others held signs or lay on the ground in silent protest, the Daily Bruin reported.

In 2011, the Berkeley College Republicans sponsored a bake sale intending to satirize SB 185 — an affirmative action-like bill that had been awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature at the time. Although Brown later vetoed the bill, the sale garnered national media attention.

Many condemned the event for the campus Republicans’ group’s tiered pricing system for baked goods based on race and sex, although the group ultimately allowed students to name their own price.

Hundreds of students and community members convened on Upper Sproul Plaza the day of the sale in 2011 to protest, laying down on their backs on the ground silently, similar to protest tactics implemented at UCLA. Additionally, a group of about 20 protesters from the activist group BAMN and the Revolutionary Communist Party stood across from the bake sale table, chanting.

The bake sale at UCLA sold about 20 cookies in the three hours it was open, according to the Daily Bruin. In 2011, Berkeley College Republicans sold out about 30 minutes before the sale’s close, bringing in almost $800.

Megan Messerly is a news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @meganmesserly.

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