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Affirmative action debate continues

Approximately 100 students gathered in the UC I-Lounge last Tuesday to discuss the recent affirmative action bake sales by Advocates for Conservative Thought [ACT] and various minority and international student organizations.

UBS, Spectrum, Outspoken, FEC and COISO members talked about the future possibilities for a forum on affirmative action and other debated topics.

“For this to happen, it felt like a slap in the face,” Christian Wilson, freshman, said. “What they did violated the Equal Protection Act of 1964. They broke the law.”

Dr. Patricia Whitely, vice president for Student Affairs, and William W. Sandler, Dean of Students, attended the meeting.

Whitely addressed student concerns that the administration did not step in to stop the ACT bake sale, saying that administration wanted to foster debate rather than suppress it.

“We could’ve closed it down, but we believed that by allowing the event to happen, we would allow for some discussion,” Whitely said. “Obviously, UM wants to work with you on this issue. Hopefully this won’t happen again in the same way.”

“For this to happen, it felt like a slap in the face.”– CHRISTIAN WILSON, freshman

Sandler agreed with Whitely.

“I think we just need to come out and debate it,” Sandler said.

Students exchanged ideas for a forum in an academic setting, where representatives of all views could express themselves. There was also talk of forming a committee to deal with such issues should they arise in the future.

Many realized that ACT sparked a new unity and coalition among the organizations.

“There’s a small part of this that we can be thankful for,” Chris Fisher, co-president of Outspoken, said. “Look at us – look how we’ve come together.”

The Hurricane will continue to follow this developing issue.

Megha Garg can be contacted at m.garg2@umiami.edu.

March 5, 2004

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.