Thanks to JacksonWe, the undersigned SA-recognized clubs, support President Jackson’s recent decision to not pursue disciplinary action against the College Republicans for their “affirmative action bake sale.” While we are disappointed by their misinterpretation of the issue of affirmative action and the insensitive nature of their protest, we recognize their right to political expression and efforts to stimulate debate at the university. It is our feeling that everyone should be able to speak without fear of punishment, as this is the only way for people to engage in the open discourse that we seek as a college community. We encourage President Jackson to continue to support political expression on this campus. We also hope that future actions will not cause him to reconsider his decision toward the College Republicans. Free speech is the most important freedom we have, and we thank President Jackson for his efforts to uphold this right.-College democrats-Amnesty International-students for liberty

Bake sale wrongI am writing in response to the recent “affirmative action bake sale” held by the College Republicans on Friday, March 19th. This event is a direct example of the ignorance surrounding the issue of affirmative action. I say ignorance because it seems that the College Republicans could have gone about proving their point in a more intellectual and organized manner. Furthermore, it seems as though the College Republicans are not aware of the reasons why affirmative action exists in the first place, despite the flaws it may have. Affirmative action exists to make it an equal playing field for disadvantaged individuals. This means that people of color and women who are faced with adversities such as poverty, insufficient education and discrimination are still given equal opportunities for higher education and professional careers. The College Republicans seem to believe that affirmative action helps people of color get into universities and top professions only because of their race and not their merit. I agree that the selection process should be based on the qualifications of the individual, but how can people of color ever develop the qualifications if they are never given the same resources as their white counterparts. Affirmative action is supposed to allow an individual of color to take a place in a university or a company so that their qualifications are not overshadowed by their race. The Democrat & Chronicle article states, “For the students who organized the ‘affirmative action bake sale’ the price tag on some Mrs. Fields cookies was meant to illustrate the web of preferences and penalties colleges such as UR use when deciding who gets in.” This statement is very offensive because it implies that all of the students of color at the University of Rochester are here because of their race and not their academic ability. It is false to make such claims because the majority of students of color enrolled in this university were in the top 10 percent of their class in high school, received high scores on their SATs, National Honor Society members and were highly recommended by their teachers. Keep in mind that the U of R is a majority white institution and if any students of color are accepted into this university because of their race it is only one or two students that this applies to, if any. Furthermore, white students benefit from their own personal “affirmative action” due to their acceptance into universities being based on their family legacy within the university. A perfect example of this is our own President George W. Bush, a Republican. To say that affirmative action is racist is to imply that it is a form of reverse racism, which is false. Racism is when a dominant group benefits from the oppression of the subordinate group and not just on an individual level, but institutionally as well. Affirmative action is not to reverse the roles of racism, but to overcome the affects of racism by creating equal opportunities across the board. If more students of color are admitted into higher education institutions and then go on to prestigious careers, they will be more capable of ensuring that their children will also have the same equal opportunities. Affirmative action gives people of color a chance to catch up where they have always been held behind. I hope the University community will soon set up an educational forum to discuss the issues surrounding affirmative action.-stephanie fitzpatrickClass of 2004-sharifa stewartClass of 2004

Diversity unvaluedThe Minority Student Advisory Board, MSAB, supports the University of Rochester in its stance on diversity. MSAB appreciates its previous actions in support of the underrepresented minority students on this campus and hopes that the College continues this in years and centuries to come. MSAB also supports free speech and all of the rights given in the constitution of this country. We hope that the College Republicans can see the discrepancy in their portrayed message of affirmative action and hope that they, while at this university, can learn more about the actualities of affirmative action and other political issues involving minorities at this university, in this country and in the world in general.-Joshua Alphonse PollardPresident Minority Student Advisory Board

Bake sale justifiedAffirmative action programs make judgments of people based solely on their race. The University of Rochester College Republicans believes, and advocated at our bake sale, that these distinctions based on race should not be made by an educational institution, as these programs make assumptions that are broad beyond any reasonable scope, and the stated goal of a racially diverse campus is not sufficient to allow racial discrimination.Affirmative action programs fail to make distinctions within members of various races. In the infamous University of Michigan affirmative action case, Gratz v. Bollinger, the Supreme Court by a 6-3 ruling found the University of Michigan’s admission policies to be unconstitutional. According to affirmative action proponents, all white and Asian applicants have enjoyed superior educational opportunities compared to every black and Hispanic applicant. The other argument often heard in favor of affirmative action is that it contributes to a racially diverse campus. We must therefore examine whether discrimination against people based on their race is justified by a racially diverse campus. Diversity based on skin color is superficial and ignores individuality. The belief that all black people think alike, all Hispanics believe in the same ideas and all Native Americans share the same values is racist and patronizing. In an educational institution it is the mind, not the skin, which creates diversity. Thirty-five professors believe that there are only two sides in this issue – those who favor affirmative action, and “bigots.” The vision of an admissions policy that does not discriminate based on race is not the vision of a bigot, but rather of one who strives for the fulfillment of our nation’s 1776 pledge.-Noah KuschelCollege Republicans

Gaza solidarity encampment: Live updates

The Campus Times is live tracking the Gaza solidarity encampment on Wilson Quad and the administrative response to it. Read our updates here.

Furries on UR campus?

A few months ago, as I did my daily walk to class through the tunnels to escape the February cold,…

An open letter to all members of any university community

I strongly oppose the proposed divestment resolution. This resolution is nothing more than another ugly manifestation of antisemitism at the University.