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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Cookies were going for cheap Thursday — that is, unless you’re white.

In a protest against affirmative action in university admissions, UF College Republicans sold cookies priced by race and gender.

As the sign read: $1 for white and Asian males; 75 cents for white and Asian females; 50 cents for black, Latino or Native American males; and 25 cents for black, Latina or Native American females.

Carly Wilson, the club’s chairwoman, said between 50 and 100 students approached the table for some sweets. Some flashed dirty looks. Others issued supportive comments.

Three steps across the sidewalk, UF College Democrat members had their own table where they were handing out free cookies, donated by the Affirmative Action Committee of Alachua County.

Kyle Pendergrass, UF College Democrats treasurer, was one of the students manning the table.

He said the club found out about the College Republicans’ event on Monday via Facebook and decided to stage its own counter-protest.

However, the issue isn’t pertinent to UF’s campus.

Because the school receives $600 million in federal grants every year, it is required by federal law to have an affirmative action plan in place, said Paula Fussell, vice president for human resource services at UF.

But state-level executive order prohibits admissions officers and employers from considering race or gender on applications.

Wilson said she is aware that UF does not have the policy but wanted students to be aware when they apply to out-of-state graduate schools.

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