UC Berkeley's student Republicans' plans to hold a satirical anti-affirmative action bake sale have ruffled feathers across campus, sparking debate about discrimination and complaints about trying to quash alternate points of view.
The Berkeley College Republicans planned the bake sale Tuesday on the school's Sproul Plaza to protest a simultaneous event by affirmative-action supporters.
The latter group will be organizing phone calls asking Gov. Jerry Brown to sign a bill that would roll back some restrictions on race-based university admissions.
A Brown spokesman said he could not comment on pending legislation.
The sale offers discounts on baked goods based on the buyers' race and gender, with whites paying $2, Asians paying $1.50 and African-Americans paying 75 cents. Women get 25 cents off all purchases.
The event attracted angry responses from some students.
The campus student government held an emergency meeting Sunday to issue a resolution condemning discrimination by student groups, satirical or otherwise.
Without referring to the bake sale, the student government's resolution asked students "to be conscious of our diverse campus community and to be aware of the trials and struggles that each student has faced, is facing, and will face."
"I fully support the idea of members of (the Republican club) expressing their opinions," said Vishalli Loomba, the UC Berkeley student-body president. "But I don't think the tactic is appropriate, and many students find it offensive."
Affirmative action bake sales have riled the campus before. A 1996 law, prompted by voter-approved Proposition 209, banned affirmative action in admissions and public hiring.
The law and similar ones across the country led to student protests, and counter-protesters responded with satirical bake sales at Berkeley and other universities.
Berkeley College Republicans also staged a sale in 2003, when the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on the legality of race-based admissions at University of Michigan.
"If you don't come, you're a racist!" read the UC Berkeley Republicans' posting about its latest bake sale on Facebook. The posting has since been toned down.
Leaders of the Republican club did not respond to interview requests Monday, but club President Shawn Lewis posted a message on the group's website decrying the antagonistic response to the bake sale.
"I have witnessed the harassment of the creators of the Facebook event, threats to those who plan on participating in the event, and a total mischaracterization of the purpose of the bake sale," he wrote. "Threatening and intimidating political opposition should not be part of the Cal community."
Matt Krupnick covers higher education. Contact him at 510-208-6488. Follow him at Twitter.com/MattKrupnick.