"White Student Union" group at UC stirs controversy - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

"White Student Union" group at UC stirs controversy

(Photo: Ben Katko, FOX19 NOW) (Photo: Ben Katko, FOX19 NOW)

A new student union affiliating themselves with the University of Cincinnati is drawing backlash.

The group calls themselves the “University of Cincinnati White Student Union” on Facebook

School leaders are now condemning its creation.

Reports circulating the internet show that groups much like the one involving UC have popped up on social media at dozens of schools.

“This isn't fully isolated to the University of Cincinnati.  We're understanding there are 30 or 40 very similar pages across the country,” said UC student body president Andrew Naab.

The leader of the group declined an on-camera interview with FOX19 NOW because of violent threats, agreeing only to talk via email.  The organizer says they group has nine members right now made up of students and alumni. 

The organizer said in an email.

"The reason we formed is because as we go into our multicultural future, Whites will be a minority in European countries all over the world by the end of the century, some sooner than others. Nations like the USA, UK, France, Germany, Sweden, and Ireland will all be majority non-European nations. We felt it was necessary to lay the groundwork now for future generations to create an advocacy group for people of European ancestry.”

“Our goal is to provide a place for students of European ancestry (White students) to discuss racial issues that are important to us,” the email from the group’s leader goes on to read.  “Our movement is not about "white supremacy" and we are not a "racist" organization."

Campus leaders are speaking out about the formation of the group.

"What we hope to do is allow for the healthy exchange of dialogue and conversation.  That's what a university is supposed to be,” Naab told FOX19 NOW by phone on Tuesday.  He posted a statement on Twitter outlining concerns with the creation of the White Student Union group.

In a memo to the campus community posted on President Santa Ono’s Instagram. He condemns the group, and calls for the school’s Trademarks and Licensing Director to work to have the page taken down from Facebook “due to unauthorized use of the university’s trademark.”

“We want to be clear that our university does not endorse this organization or its attempts to polarize us or distract us from our thoughtful and serious discussion of the racial issues that our institution and our nation face,” Ono wrote.

"This page is not directly affiliated, or this group, the white student union, has no affiliation with the University of Cincinnati,” Naab said.

A group of black students known as the Irate 8 have pushed for more on-campus equality for months.  The leader of the White Student Union says the creation of the group was not in response to the Irate 8’s creation.

The Irate 8 responded on Twitter saying the White Student Union page “is nothing more than a distraction from efforts to address racism at this university.”

The White Student Union is not an officially recognized organization at UC, but their leader says they’re working toward changing that.

UPDATE, Nov. 25: The authenticity of similar “White Student Union” Facebook groups is being questioned at universities across the country, the New York Times reports.

Several of the pages, including the “University of Cincinnati White Student Union,” contain identical descriptions of the group’s mission.

While an anonymous person claiming to head the UC group responded to emails from FOX19 NOW, it is still unclear whether or not the page was, in fact, created by a UC student.

We are working to determine the authenticity of the page and will keep you updated.

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