Screengrab via yct_ut/Instagram

Hundreds protest affirmative action-themed bake sale at University of Texas

The Young Conservatives of Texas run into stiff opposition.


Nidia Cavazos


Published Oct 26, 2016   Updated Feb 28, 2020, 9:39 pm CST

Students from the Young Conservatives of Texas student group at the University of Texas at Austin protested affirmative action on Wednesday by putting on a bake sale with prices tied to race and gender. 

It was meant to lampoon the consideration of race in admissions. But hundreds of students gathered to protest and express their outrage against YCT’s bake sale—wherein cookies were free to Native Americans, 50 cents for Hispanic males, and Asian-Americans would have to pay the most at $1.50.

According to the bake sale’s Facebook event page, YCT is a “truly colorblind organization and believes that all government institutions are constitutionally prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race in all circumstances, including affirmative action.”

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UT-Austin Student Body President Kevin Helgren said the YCT protest was over the line.

“They have a right to practice their First Amendment, but putting on a racially charged and hate-filled bake sell is a really poor way to go about exercising their first amendment,” Helgren told the Daily Dot.

Helgren said it’s important for people to understand that reverse racism does not exist. Helgren alluded to baseball to explain.

“I started on second base, because I walked through the world with inherent privilege,” Helgren, a white male, said. “The less privileged have to stand at home plate and bat to the best of their ability. That’s not fair. Affirmative action helps even it out.”

Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement at UT-Austin Gregory Vincent addressed the West Mall protest in a university-wide statement.

“Focusing our attention on the provocative nature of the YCT’s actions ignores a much more important issue: they create an environment of exclusion and disrespect among our students, faculty and staff,” Vincent said.

Founded in 1980, the YCT has a history of high-profile protests across its seven campus chapters. In 2013, YCT held the same bake sale, and made headlines for its controversial “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day.”

The communications director for the UT-Austin chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  

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*First Published: Oct 26, 2016, 9:49 pm CDT