Ever since the UC Berkeley Bake Sale that priced baked goods according to buyer’s ethnicity, the SB 185 Bill in California has become a national attention. This bill is to give underrepresented minorities the same opportunities to attend a California State University or University of California. The purpose of this bill is to increase presence of black, Latino, and Native American students on public campuses. According to Proposition 209 that was passed in 1996, there should not be a “preferential treatment” on the basis of race, national origin, sex in any public institution or public contracting.
Governor Brown has until this Sunday to veto the bill or sign it, which would allow UCs and CSUs to use race and color as a factor just as long as preference is not given. This bill will affect UCs the most because they use many factors in considering their prospective students. University of California even look at where applicants live and what languages they speak.
There are many grey areas to this issue. Should colleges use race and ethnicity as factors for admissions? Should college admission be solely based on SAT scores, grades, accomplishments, and to the extent extracurricular activities? (I believe so.) Currently, Asian Americans are the majority in UCs and CSUs, but how will the passage of SB 185 change the diversity of UCs and CSUs? Is it fair that a more qualified Asian American student cannot be granted an acceptance to a California college because the spot was given to a non-Asian minority who is less qualified instead?
[Photo Credit: sfgate.com, Caption: Supporters of SB 185 are lying down during the UC Berkeley Bake Sale while Berkeley College Republicans are satirizing the SB 185 at the bake sale.]