According to its Facebook page, the University of North Carolina White Student Union was founded on Saturday.
The person communicating through the group’s Facebook page would not provide documentation that group members were UNC students or how many members are in the group. The spokesperson said members preferred to stay anonymous to protect themselves from backlash.
However, the spokesperson, who said the group focuses on concerns and values of European American students, said the group thinks backlash is unfounded.
“Many do not see White interests as legitimate, but as times change and European Americans become a smaller demographic throughout the country, it is inevitable that we will have to make it a priority to speak up for ourselves, lest we become a disparaged and voiceless minority within the country,” the spokesperson said.
Many UNC students have voiced concerns about the group. Junior Tyler Sharp said he thinks the group is hiding behind anonymity.
“I checked it out and was really astonished that people would actually make that,” Sharp said. “And then I decided that I actually wasn’t that surprised, especially when I saw that everyone was posting to it anonymously.”
Sharp said he thinks the group is staying anonymous because members realize the group is racist. He said he’s glad many people on Facebook have posted against the group.
“UNC is obviously a white space,” he said.
The spokesperson said the group wants to hold events later in the year and seek recognition as a student organization if it can gather significant support on campus, but haven’t felt support so far.
“So far, the UNC WSU and its affiliates have received feedback that indicates the student body as a whole is vehemently opposed to the voicing of White interests and concerns,” the spokesperson said. “Though we are a tolerant group that is open to people of all races, many see our presence as detrimental as it concerns race relations.”
Morgan McLaughlin, a junior, said she doesn’t think the group would be recognized as a student organization.
“That would be absolutely absurd,” she said. “This campus is made for white people. Our school is a primarily white institution.”
Sharp said he thought the group would be protested if it was recognized by UNC.
McLaughlin said the group was an unnecessary advocate.
“We don’t need a safe space for white interests,” she said. “Everything is built for white interests.”
McLaughlin said she wasn’t convinced there was more than one person behind the Facebook page, but she said it’s especially important for white people to speak out against this group and racism in any form.
“It’s not the marginalized group’s job to educate,” she said. “That’s a burden, and that’s a tax that shouldn’t be placed on any marginalized group.”
Assistant University Editor Victoria Mirian contributed reporting.