Grand Valley State College Republicans Could Face Disciplinary Action for ‘Affirmative Action’ Bake Sale
The College Republicans group at Grand Valley State University is facing harsh criticism for an “affirmative action” bake sale it held on campus in March. The same cupcake that a White male could buy for $2 was available for 75 cents to a White female or a Black person, 50 cents to an Asian or Hispanic and only a nickel to an American Indian.
Organizer Kyle Rausch said his club wanted to challenge affirmative action policies that give preference to women and minorities. Members expected the bake sale’s pricing policy to generate some controversy, but they didn’t mean to upset any passers-by, he says.
“If people walked by and were offended, that was not our intention,” Rausch told The Grand Rapids Press.
Rausch’s group sold only one cupcake and now could face disciplinary action for the stunt.
Four students filed complaints with the university’s Student Life Office, initiating a misconduct review. Several people denounced the sale during a Student Senate meeting.
The university’s student code states, in part, that “every aspect of University life should be free from discrimination …”
If a nine-member review board of staff members and students determines that the College Republicans crossed the line, the group could be suspended, losing university funding and the privilege to meet on campus. It received $1,625 in university funds this school year.
“You can have a discussion and bring awareness, but you can’t go out and discriminate to make that happen,” says Bob Stoll, director of student life. “They had poor judgment.”
Ashley Chaney, a junior from Grand Rapids and editor of Stand UP!, a campus newsletter serving Black students, said the bake sale was offensive.
“If you’re against affirmative action, that’s fine, but you need to be respectful of other people,” Chaney said.
Several Black students have demanded an apology. Rausch, who called the sale a form of free speech, doesn’t plan to offer one. He said he’d do it all again if he felt that he had to.
“It’s nice that it can stimulate discussion,” he said.
— Associated Press
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