Mar 022004
 
Authors: Natalie Plowman

Several college Republican groups have recently been taking

measures against affirmative action on college campuses across the

country.

At Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, junior Jason

Mattera started a “whites only” scholarship as a parody addressing

what he sees as affirmative action’s hypocrisy.

Mattera, a journalism and business major, came up with this idea

last summer, when the university sent out an e-mail to the entire

student body that was only applicable to minority students.

Mattera’s reaction to this e-mail was that students should not

be excluded from receiving a scholarship just because they are not

a minority.

Mattera’s scholarship guidelines contained satirical messages

such as “evidence of bleaching will disqualify applicants” and a

picture to confirm “whiteness” must be attached to the

application.

The scholarship application is available at Roger William’s

University College Republicans Web site www.rwucr.com.

“I think it’s very, very, very silly,” Mattera said about the

nationwide controversy the scholarship has stirred up.

“There should be no controversy,” Mattera said. “If they can

have scholarships for just minorities, why is there a fuss over

this?”

Mattera also said the dispute over the scholarship’s ethics

reveal the double standard universities uphold.

Mattera said by setting up the scholarship his hope was to begin

and encourage a dialogue that addressed affirmative action.

His goal has been realized, he said.

The scholarship stands at $250, but donations from around the

country have continued to come in, he said.

The group might set up a national database for the scholarship,

Mattera said. The scholarship is still a work in progress, but it

will definitely be in some form of a Caucasian- only

scholarship.

CSU would have a difficult time stopping a similar scholarship

if one were to come about in Fort Collins.

“There are scholarships that are privately sponsored and

administered,” Associate General Counsel Laurence Pendleton

said.

These are the scholarships that the university has no control

over, as opposed to the scholarships the university funds or

sponsors, Pendleton said. If the university were to sponsor a

“whites only” scholarship, there would be constitutionality

issues.

“Discrimination statutes could potentially prohibit it,”

Pendleton said. “You cannot have a racially exclusive

scholarship.”

The College Republicans at the University of Colorado-Boulder

has also fought against what they view as affirmative action’s

double standard.

Brad Jones, the chairman of the College Republicans at CU,

orchestrated a recent bake sale on the CU campus.

Initially, the bake sale consisted of cookies that were to be

sold at different prices determined by a customer’s race.

Caucasians and Asian Americans were to be charged $1 for cookies

and African Americans 25 cents and Hispanics 50 cents. People who

were categorized as “other” would received cookies for free.

The idea of a bake sale is not new, Jones said. The first one

took place a few years ago.

“(It was) the right event at the right time to make a point

about the university’s discriminatory practice,” Jones said of this

year’s sale.

The “other” classification was to demonstrate that it is very

difficult to determine someone’s race, Jones said.

CU officials contacted Jones prior to the event and told him the

bake sale was against the law because its inherent price

discrimination went against the protections given by the 1964 Civil

Rights Act passed by Congress.

After discussions, CU and the College Republicans came to a

compromise where the bake sale cookies were all sold for the same

price to everyone, but a “suggested tips” could be different prices

determined by race.

“The student union was the major organizer of the opposition

against the bake sale,” Jones said. “There were at least 100

students mobilized (in protest).”

Jones said the protests disappointed his group because the

opposition’s and his messages were partially lost in the mob of

people around the bake sale table.

The bake sale earned $25.54 and the College Republicans are in

the process of donating the proceeds to a scholarship fund in

Denver.

The College Republican group at CSU is brainstorming methods to

get its views on affirmative action out as well.

“We stand by CU in their opposition to affirmative action,” said

Jesse Mallory, co-chair for the College Republicans and a senior

political science major at CSU.

“We like the ‘white only’ scholarship. It reveals how ridiculous

a race-based scholarship is,” Mallory said.

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