Kristen Smith and Kristin Baver, Keystone (Kutztown University, Pa.), Feb. 17, 2006
KUTZTOWNA bake sale in the McFarland Student Union was the cause for some controversy last week. Minority students were reportedly pointed at and told they did not deserve to be at KU or had only been admitted to the university because of Affirmative Action and pamphlets containing questionable information were distributed.
On Feb. 8 the KU College Republicans (KUCR) hosted the Affirmative Action Bake Sale, which was actually in opposition to the cause, dispersing information that Affirmative Action did not help minorities to become successful. Prices were set at $1.00 for whites, the highest price, while African-Americans were charged around 50 cents. Women were given a 25 cent discount.
According to the KUCR, prices were set to reflect how admissions offices use affirmative action in a way that leads to negative results. Whites paid the most, then other races followed by Hispanics then African-Americans. Pamphlets distributed at the event sought to explain to students that “Affirmative Action cripples those it claims to help by failing to prepare them for life.” Many of the claims in the pamplets, however, were either taken out of context or taken from sources like wikipedia.com, the online encyclopedia that “anyone can edit.”
Mark Prinzinger, a senior Political Science major and president of the KUCR, Dan Brockway, a junior Electronic Media major and member of the KUCR and Danielle Almond, a junior Psychology major were seated at the table.
“We’re trying to get the idea out there of what Affirmative Action is and how it effects KU students, and I think we did well with that today,” said Prinzinger in a Feb. 8 interview.
According to KatiePanamarenko, a senior Speech Communication major and by-stander at the sale, Public Safety was called to the scene that day in an effort to calm friction.
“A lot of people felt disrespected. [Members of KUCR] made comments about students from Philadelphia, saying that we don’t deserve to be here,” said Shanique Jones, a junior Professional Writing major.
Justin McCleary, a junior Professional Writing major, said, “Personally, I feel that the comments members made and the false brochures, were more offensive than the sale itself.”
“[KUCR] members were physically pointing at people saying, ‘You’re here because of affirmative action’ and these students were very upset,” he said.
Affirmative action is meant to enhance diversity, however, Brockway said he doesn’t see a need for diversity on campus. He would rather see unity, and at this point, he doesn’t feel KU is united.
When asked for his opinion on the appropriateness of sports scholarships, Brockway said, “That’s different because people aren’t being judged by their race . . . You’re getting into school because of something you can do.”