Berkeley bake sale a harsh reality check about bad bill


Otto Tielemans

Photo Credit: Aysen Tan/ The Foothill Dragon Press

Feelings ran rampant last week as Republicans at the University of California Berkley held what some believed to be a harsh and racist bake sale. Their actions were in response to Berkley’s proposal to “consider race, gender, ethnicity, and national origin in undergraduate and graduate admissions.”

In order to demonstrate their disapproval for the matter, campus Republicans decided to sell baked goods and charge customers by the color of their skin. The prices were as follows:

Caucasians $2.00, Asians $1.50, Latinos $1.00, African-Americans $0.75, Native Americans $0.25, and women received a discount of twenty-five cents.

Although many regarded the bake sale to be a bad representation of the proposed Senate Bill 185, you can’t help but wonder if they had a point.

Coming from a Democratic-Hispanic homestead I am expected to agree with the bill. Not only does it prove to be something of assistance for my future, but it is also a step towards enhancing the opportunities for people of other races to be admitted into a highly selective university. The plain fact is that some people from certain races have an advantage in regards to college admittance.

For example, Caucasians generally tend to have a higher tendency of going off to college when compared to other races such as Hispanics and African-Americans. Statistics show that 28% of Hispanics between the age of 18 and 24 were enrolled in college, compared to the 38% of African-Americans and 52% of Caucasians.

In addition, an independent study demonstrated that college graduates make, on average, $20,000 more than those who did not purse a higher degree of education. This enables them to afford SAT courses, private tutors, and summer programs for their children.

So when it comes to applying for college, some students naturally have an advantage because of the additional resources that they have at hand. Another advantage that these students have is that their parents went to college and experienced the admission process first-hand. Henceforth, they have priceless knowledge that can be crucial upon acceptance.

Now, is this to say that one race holds the ultimate advantage over all the others? No, of course not!

There are plenty of people who come from a humble background, with parents that didn’t go to college, that trump those privileged students. One of the reasons being that they exceeded in areas such as extracurricular activities.

However, as much as I would like to disagree with the Republicans at Berkley, my conscience compels me to agree with them.

College admissions should be something that revolves around a system of merits, not on a person’s race, gender, ethnicity, or national origin. Students devote their time and make grueling sacrifices to better their chances of getting into their dream school. This proposed bill is a slap in the face to those hardworking and dedicated students.

When applying to college next year, I hope that my skin color doesn’t play a role in my admission, even if it would better my chances. I would rather they focus on my grades, my extracurricular activities, and my personal achievements than my race.

What do you think?