Update: The UC Berkeley White Student Union Facebook page was deleted Monday. Read more here.
A Facebook page for a UC Berkeley White Student Union was created Saturday, causing campus community members to voice their concerns, especially on social media.
According to the group’s mission statement, the White Student Union was founded to “unapologetically provide a safe space for white students to air their true feelings” about the “challenges European-American students on college campuses face.”
It also claimed the group was inspired by its counterpart at UCLA, whose Facebook page indicated that it was created Friday.
A similar page was created at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a response to a Black Lives Matter rally, prompting the campus’s administration to respond, condemning the creation of the group.
Various students took to social media to voice their concerns regarding the group’s creation. While some students expressed anger, some simply doubted the group’s validity.
“From where I am, it seems that students aren’t taking this too seriously, because despite how indicative this is of white supremacy’s presence at Cal, it’s very low on the list of priorities,” said Nisa Dang, a campus senior. “The response has indicated that this type of reactionary, supremacist behavior will not be welcomed or tolerated by students who have been working to uplift the oppressed and marginalized.”
Kevin Sabo, president of the UC Student Association, said he had been in touch with UCSA board members regarding how to address the group. He has also personally reported the page to Facebook, as have other community members, but said the issue was still under review.
“Events like this can be triggering for communities of color who are underrepresented and feel microaggressions everyday,” Sabo said. “This is a slap in the face.”
Associate Chancellor and Dean of Students Joseph Greenwell responded to several students’ concerns on Facebook on Sunday evening, stating that the campus was looking into the group because of a “violation of the use of the University brand.”
The creators of the Facebook page declined to respond for comment.
Check back here for updates.