An amendment to Utah’s constitution that proposes banning affirmative action from state governed agencies and state institutions will specifically attack state funding to outreach programs, recruitment and preference-selection geared towards women and minorities of color.
Peggy Pasin, coordinator of the Women’s Center, and Gwen Anderson, director of the Multicultural Center, have voiced numerous concerns about the bill and have mentioned the devastating consequences that would hurt Utah in the long run with the acceptance of such a bill, especially federally and state funded UVU.
“It looks like, ‘Wow! Look at the money we’ve saved’,” says Passin. “However, if you look at the long-term effect of not assisting women and different ethnic groups in completing their education, I think you’re looking at a much greater expenditure over time.”
Ingrid Sagers, UVU student and mother of three, said, “I specifically count on the flexibility and trust of programs that help people like me and can’t imagine why someone would want to get rid of that.”
On Feb. 12, 2010, Ward Connerly told the Deseret News, “Diversity is an amorphous idea that is simply in the eye of the beholder.”
Connerly’s desperate attempts for a colorblind society and dedication towards utopian ideals of equality are shrouded in suspicion.
The Colorado Independent investigated his anti-affirmative action activities, regarding contributions he has received from “a ‘good ole boys’ cottage industry.”
Columnist Cara Degette quoted Mary Moore and Jennifer Hahn in the winter 2008 issue of Ms. magazine, who said many of Connerly’s consulting clients are “some of the most powerful players in the housing, building and construction industries.”
Since the passage of California’s Prop 209 – Connerly’s successful attempt in California banning affirmative action outreach program – his non-profit organization has been able to accrue $8.3 million through his powerfully fiscal clients that survive off of city and state contracts.
These clients would be in danger of losing contracts to minority or women owned companies that are supposedly advantaged by affirmative action policy.
This does not excuse the mistrustful way Connerly proposes his bill, or the political games he plays. Games like Connerly not showing up to the Dec. 2 meeting with the Members of the Utah Constitutional Revision Commission. The commission’s intent is to offer counsel when it comes to modifying the Utah constitution.
Connerly’s slick and deceptive strategies may have won him passage of anti-affirmative action bills in states such Missourri and California, but there are many students here at UVU hoping to curb Connerly and Oda’s efforts.
“Entering the job market already as a woman and minority of color is difficult,” said UVU Latino Initiative volunteer and former student, Glenny Riley. “Employment fields require preparation, and centers dedicated to development for women and minorities at UVU are a must.”
Student Joan Palacios, said, “There are many of us who are dedicated against anti-affirmative action pushes…it is critical that we not only share our opinion, but become awakened as to what is happening.”