In response to the ‘Affirmative Action bake sale’ hosted by the College Republicans the week before, Campus Greens, a relatively new organization at UCI, participated in an ‘affirmative bake sale’ on Feb. 19 designed to support Affirmative Action and to promote discussion on the issue.
Campus Greens offered donuts, vegan cookies and other assorted goods at a fixed price to all customers, ‘regardless of age, race, creed or color,’ as one sign at the Campus Green table said. In addition to the variety of baked goods offered, there was literature offered to educate the student body on the issues at hand and also the club itself.
‘Thanks to the equality of Affirmative Action, all of our baked goods are the same price. Doesn’t equality taste good?’ said Kathlyn Henderson, president of Campus Greens and a second-year English major. ‘I believe personally that Affirmative Action is a necessary evil. I don’t see any other viable options.’
Campus Greens is part of the national organization bearing the same name and is also a subsidiary of the international Green Party.
The Orange County chapter of the Green Party helped the club get on its feet three weeks ago.
The largest group of patrons at the sale consisted of CALPIRG activists and faculty.
The event did manage to garner the attention of the College Republicans who stopped by to introduce themselves without incident.
Sigmund Paczkowski, a first-year biological sciences major and member of the College Republicans, was one of the students who went up to the Campus Greens and debated the issue with them.
‘Race and sex have become such a big issue that people say, hey, look, we’re being fair, when they should be ignoring race altogether,’ Paczkowski said.
However, the majority who passed by appeared to be apathetic to the sale. Many students admitted an ignorance on the topic or was even surprised that there was a bake sale on Ring Road.
According to second-year English major April Boatner, ‘Not enough people know the difference between Affirmative Action and quota systems. It’s not enough to say we believe in Affirmative Action and hold fundraisers to advocate versus educate.’
Despite the apathy, the more politically-minded students seemed comfortable with voicing their opinions on the subject.
‘I’m a heavy believer in pluralism,’ said Tim Won, a philosophy graduate student. ‘Be aware of institutionalized racism that can be brought out of conservative views.’
Not everyone saw the ‘affirmative bake sale’ effort by the Campus Greens as a positive one.
Not wanting to reveal his name, one student said, ‘I think that the bake sales are bad analogies. They’re destroying the issue. It’s alienating to the black students.’
Some students at UCI did not have a strong stance on the issue of Affirmative Action.
‘I’m kind of in-between,’ said Josiah Peterson, a first-year aerospace engineering major. ‘I realize people who grow up in certain communities lack the resources to succeed. At the same time, I don’t know to what extent we are obligated to them.’