Students Pack Auditorium for FAMU/FSU Debate over ‘Bake Sale’

Florida A&M students flooded Florida State’s campus on Thursday night to support their fellow classmates in what was sure to be a night to remember.

On Jan. 25, the FSU College of Republicans held an “Affirmative Action Bake Sale” on the campus of Florida State.

The object of the sale was a demonstration of the respective preferential admissions and hiring practices shown to certain races in universities and the workplace.

In the bake sale, blacks and Hispanics received whole cookies, Asians received a half cookie and whites a quarter of a cookie.

With these actions, a challenge was sent by the FAMU Debate Team and the call was finally answered Thursday night as they went face-to-face with the FSU College of Republicans in a lecture hall in the HCB building at FSU.

“Whenever there is a healthy debate, I am all in. I believe in dialog,” Robin Leach, associate dean of students at Florida State.

Reamonn Soto, one-fourth of the debate team that took the podium, said he thought the debate was necessary.

The 24-year-old political science student believed that history was made. According to Soto, the opportunity was great and allowed them to learn about people.

“This debate helps us solve our problems and communication helps that cause. Our generation is looking for a solution,” said Soto.

Overall, the FAMU debate team was pleased with the strength in numbers; roughly 1,000 estimated have been in the lecture hall, according to debate moderator County Commissioner Bill Proctor.

The event was held at the HCB building across from the Oglesby Student Union inside a large lecture hall.

Outside the HCB lecture hall, hundreds of students stood outside in hopes to get a glimpse of the debate but were denied access because the classroom was beyond capacity, according to Proctor.

For those that could not make it inside, many stayed around. Mike Todd, 24, a Health Information Management student at FAMU, was one who stood outside.

“It takes a lot of courage to come to FSU so we as a family had to support,” Todd said.

Not all of supporters felt rallying outside the school was the right message.

Justin Harris, 22, is a Political Science student that came but was not pleased.

“I think that the College Republicans chose this small venue on purpose. Many students that came were loud and could have found a better way to rally,” said Harris.