In an attempt to make the University’s race-conscious admissions policies more tangible to students, staff members of The Michigan Review held an “Affirmative Action Bake Sale” yesterday.
The purpose of the bake sale was to exemplify the University’s 150 point-based system admissions process in another setting, Michigan Review Editor in Chief James and LSA senior Justin Wilson said. The University awards 20 out of a possible 150 points to underrepresented minority students.
The bake sale offered bagels and muffins at different prices for different students according to their race. Non-minority students – including whites, Asians and Middle Easterners – were charged $1 for each baked good, while minority students – blacks, Native Americans and Hispanics – were charged 80 cents. Engineering senior Matt Franczak said the bake sale’s purpose was to raise awareness about the University’s race-conscious admissions policies, which he said are “ridiculous.”
Many students debated and argued with the sellers over affirmative action. “This has gotten a lot of people to talk, and that’s a good thing,” LSA junior and Michigan Review staff member Ruben Duran said. “This is what the University does, except with college admissions. More people should be outraged.”
Student reactions ranged from shock to laughter. “People have been arguing with us since 8 a.m.,” Wilson said. “I’m surprised the University hasn’t shut us down yet.”
Wilson emphasized that the staff of The Michigan Review supports minorities. Profits from the bake sale were donated to the United Negro College Fund – that amount totaled $17 at the end of the sale.
Students’ opinions were split on the means and effectiveness of the bake sale. Many students refused to comment on the sale due to personal outrage.
Scott Unger, an LSA sophomore, found the bake sale offensive and ignorant. “I don’t think anything’s going to happen (as a result of the sale),” he said. “But I don’t feel it’s right.”
Education senior Agnes Aleobua said she hoped the sale made students interested in fighting for affirmative action. “Baked goods are in no way relatable to when a student is admitted to college. It’s not a tangible example at all,” she said. “What’s at stake is that minority students have an opportunity to continue their education past high school.”
LSA freshman Dana Dougherty said she participated in the sale to demonstrate the real-life effects of the University’s policies. “I’m participating because I believe affirmative action policies are unconstitutional,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of debate – peaceful debate. The people who stayed to debate the longest are for affirmative action.”