UIUC students protest on the quad against Illini Republicans’ Affirmative Action bake sale
‘Not your wedge’
Students gathered on the main quad this morning to protest the ‘Affirmative Action Bake Sale’, an event held by the Illini Republicans, who are charging students different prices based on ethnicity to raise money for their organization and raise awareness about unfair admission and tuition.
Protest bake sales were held surrounding the Illini Republicans’ table such as APAC’s (UIUC’s Asian Pacific American Coalition) “Not Your Wedge” Matcha Cookie Sale and Crescendo’s (a group supporting underrepresented students in the School of Music and Arts) “Not Your Quota” sale. Members of APAC could be seen holding signs that said “Not Your wedge.”
The Illini Republican table included a sign that listed the baked goods’ prices, based on ethnicity, and they also had flyers explaining their cause. The sign also claims that the prices could be debated through discussion.
The following prices were written on the sign:
As the time progressed, the number of students surrounding the Affirmative Action Bake Sale increased. Jonathan Heideman, a executive board member of the Illini Republicans said in a statement to The Tab Illinois: “Most of the people have been respectful, although most of them disagree with us. There were a few individuals who tried to steal our cookies and then threw them on the ground and kicked them around. So 90 percent of the people have been disrespectful but there are some who have been disrespectful and rude.”
Heideman also explained “the purpose of discrepancy in prices is to show that a difference in the price of cookies is wrong. And on a large scale, we think Affirmative Action is a policy that tries to compensate based on race and shouldn’t be a system. We thought that having it at our university and having it in front of us [allows us] to talk with students and get their opinions.”
Half way through the bake sale students began standing around the table, almost blockading the view. Various news networks as well as campus police were also present at the event.
The Tab Illinois spoke with a member of APAC, Zahir Abdul (pictured above), who stated one of the main goals of APAC is to promote social justice and the idea of “Not Your Wedge.” According to Abdul this phrase represents “how they [Illini Republicans] are using Asian Americans to say ‘oh look at them, they don’t need Affirmative Action, they are already doing so well.’ But what we are trying to say is don’t use us as your wedge because the only reason we were able to use our opportunities to the fullest extent is because of Affirmative Action. We are forever grateful for the strides that it [Affirmative Action] has made.”
APAC also had flyers with information available.
Crescendo has a similar goal with their phrase “Not Your Quota.” Their table had a white board that people who visited the table could fill out with a message and the hashtag #IamNotAQuota.
The bake sale will end at 4pm today.