Conservative bake sale sparks controversy

The Young Conservatives of Texas at Baylor held a bake sale from 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday on Fountain Mall. Photo credit: Timothy Hong

By Megan Rule | Staff Writer

The Young Conservatives of Texas Baylor chapter held a controversial bake sale from 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday on Fountain Mall.

According to a club email from YCT of Baylor, its plan was to hold an equal rights bake sale on campus. The announcement that came out Tuesday afternoon said the focus was to represent equality through pricing for the baked goods.

“Essentially, we will have a sign with all the different skin colors, and yet everyone will be charged the same price,” the announcement said. “Our focus will be demonstrating how affirmative action is at odds with equal rights.”

However, this announcement received quite a bit of pushback when a screenshot of the email was posted on Facebook. As of Monday when the announcement was emailed, the event was not pre-approved by Matt Burchett, director of student activities, creating some trouble for YCT of Baylor in the 24 hours leading up to the event. At 11 a.m. Monday, the group submitted a request for a bake sale, Burchett said.

“We were not notified of the extra content that was involved with the bake sale, which is why we engaged in further conversation,” Burchett said.

When word spread about the bake sale Monday and Tuesday, students took to social media in an uproar. Questions of what it meant to discuss affirmative action and the idea of equality versus equity came into play, as some students felt that this idea was being misconstrued.

According to Petaluma, Calif., junior Brittany Gamlen, vice-chairman of YCT of Baylor, this bake sale has been done across the state of Texas as well as at Baylor before, just not in a while.

The purpose of the bake sale was to raise money for the organization, but in a way that brings awareness to an issue YCT of Baylor thought was important, Gamlen said. Money raised would go toward events such as bringing speakers to campus.

“Basically, we just want to promote the idea of equal rights, and so we believe that affirmative action privileges some people over others based on things such as race,” Gamlen said.

The purpose of YCT of Baylor is to bring conservative activism to campus. In this particular case, the club aimed to show that affirmative action gives privileges to individuals based on race in applying for positions in college and the workplace, which they consider to be at odds with the idea of equal rights.

“We agreed that those activities would be reviewed at a later time for another event and would not be included in today’s backlash,” Burchett said.

The bake sale went on almost as planned Wednesday afternoon. The elements that were drawing attention on social media were removed from the event once the Student Activities office was made aware of it. According to Burchett, there is a protocol that organizations have to go through when doing fundraisers and on-campus events such as bake sales.

“It is our belief that such preferential treatment has the potential to be detrimental to the development of a free and a colorblind society,” Gamlen said. “That concerns us because it is a form of discrimination.”