AUSTIN, Texas -- The Young Conservatives of Texas UT Chapter created controversy on Wednesday when they posted pictures on their Instagram and Facebook pages of a bake sale they were holding on campus.
"This cannot be taught in a 10-minute conversation," UT Freshman Jarvis Dillard, a black male, said. "Start a campus conversation. This right here is going to solve nothing. It's going to solve nothing."
Dillard joined hundreds of fellow University of Texas at Austin students in blasting Young Conservatives of Texas for hosting a bake sale against affirmative action.
Christopher Shafik, a UT Junior, was one of the last YCT members to stick around and defend the sale's goal. Shafik said his parents are from Egypt.
"The entire premise of that was to have a conversation about affirmative action," he said. "We could've been better prepared in terms of who was doing the bake sale and coming in with the necessary information from admissions."
Photos posted by the group on Instagram show they sold baked goods for different prices based on race and gender.
Asian males paid the most--$1.50 a treat--while Native Americans could get them for free.
UT Student Body President Kevin Helgren denounced the sale.
"I think we have a lot of room for growth," he said. "The fact that African American students make up less than four percent of our student body is a huge problem."
Affirmative action landed UT in the national spotlight this year, when Abigail Fisher took affirmative action to the US Supreme Court and lost. Helgren, a white male, said affirmative action's needed to create a campus of diverse thought and perspective.
"It is not the only factor," Helgren said. "In fact, we take a lot of other factors into consideration. But by taking race and ethnicity into consideration, we are able to recruit a more diverse and talented student body."
Joshua Ellis, a UT sophomore, was one of the first students to confront the conservative student group.
"When I started explaining it to them, some of them were like, 'Huh, it's not really that bad, is it?' No, it's actually quite necessary in our society," Ellis said.
"We could've been better prepared in terms of who was doing the bake sale and coming in with the necessary information from admissions," Shafik said.
Many students said the bake sale idea was ill-conceived and divisive. Members of YCT quickly scattered as the discussion grew more heated.
YCT issued a statement Wednesday afternoon, calling affirmative action "insane" and "absurd."
"Our protest was designed to highlight the insanity of assigning our lives value based on our race and ethnicity, rather than our talents, work ethic, and intelligence," YCT chapter Chairman Vidal Castañeda said in the statement. "It is insane that institutional racism, such as affirmative action, continues to allow for universities to judge me by the color of my skin rather than my actions."
The group did not apologize for offending hundreds of fellow students, staff and faculty.