AFFIRMATIVE ACTION Debate ignites at Cal State by Brian Caulfield HAYWARD-Hayward State University anthropology professor Glynn Custred's high profile campaign to repeal affirmative action has made this campus ground zero in the heated statewide debate over affirmative action. A panel of professors, students and activists challenged Custred and his proposal Jan. 17 before a room packed with students, faculty and media. Students who watched the debate say it will shake up the state as a whole just as it has rocked their campus. One student, Edward Miranda, pointed out that Hayward State-with a diverse mix of minorities who outnumber whites and many students who already work full time-is a true microcosm of society. Custred co-authored the so-called California Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI), which would amend the state constitution to ban public schools and employers from granting jobs, promotions and college admissions to applicants based on their race, gender or ethnicity. "What we have now is not equal opportunity, but equal results enforced by a bureaucracy," Custred told the crowd. He described white men as victims of affirmative action and said preferential treatment was "balkanizing" society. Asked how he can describe white men as victims of affirmative action, when studies have shown white males occupy 90 percent of all top corporate jobs, Custred said some ethnic groups were more "culturally motivated" than others. "If you look at men and women there are a lot of life decisions made that give results in different status proportions," Custred said. "You cannot go against these cultural forces and make it come out the same-it won't work," he said. Anthony Ratcliff, a student who works with affirmative action outreach programs, said that although "people like Custred say they want to judge people only on merit, and people like Doctor Murray [author of "The Bell Curve"] state that blacks have 15 percent lower IQ- I feel these two views are starting to merge." IMPACT ON CSU Passage of the CCRI would end many programs at California State University and University of California campuses. For example passage of the CCRI would mean that Hayward State might have to eliminate: ù EOP, which is designed for low income and ethnically diverse students; ù the summer bridge program designed to help underrepresented groups adjust to college life; ù a minority engineering program; ù student affirmative action; ù scholarships for black and Latino students; ù graduate equity programs. "I'm an Equal Opportunity Program (EOP) student from an underrepresented background, and I have supported myself since 1987," said Miranda. "These are good programs that get people who may not be from the mainstream into the workplace," he said. "Hopefully it [CCRI won't pass, but if it does not only our campus, but every campus will be outraged," said Mimi Wong. She said students are networking with the community to come up with proposals to defend affirmative action and educate people about it. Members of women's, African-American, Latino and Asian-Pacific Islander student groups recently formed Concerned CSU Students Against CCRI to move this process forward. For info: (510) 881-3901.