For most, the university life is full of classes, campus parties, and meeting new people. However, minority students entering a publicly funded universities may find themselves disconnected from the majority racial group on campus. Often minority students feel isolated while in classrooms, but they are giving the opportunity to connect with other like-minded individuals using the many student organizations that exist on campus. These “student unions” were created in an effort to assist minority students in adjusting to an environment that is cultural different than they are accustomed. However, what was created to assist minority students to adapt to their new environment is now being used by a group of white students at Georgia State University in developing a “White Student Union”.
According to the recent article in Black Legal Issues:
Georgia State is highly diverse, with whites comprising 38 percent of the student body, followed by blacks at 35 percent, Asians at 12 percent and Latinos at 7 percent.
“If we are already minorities on campus and are soon to be minorities in this country why wouldn’t we have the right to advocate for ourselves and have a club just like every other minority?” said Sharp, 18. “Why is it when a white person says he is proud to be white he’s shunned as a racist?” – Read Full Article
The concerning part about Mr. Sharp’s rationale is that he clearly does not understand that minority student unions were not created to somehow overthrow the Caucasians on campus or to even create an environment that would make others feel threatened. These student unions were created as a means to make others feel safe. Mr. Sharp also cannot be aware of the privilege that he and his counterparts innately receive in American society. Another attempt was made at creating a white student union on campus at Towson University in Maryland.
The Towson University White Student Union was deemed as a racist organization by The Southern Poverty Law Center. According to Time Magazine:
Sharp said he was inspired to begin the group after hearing about a similar organization formed by students at Towson University in Maryland. Towson’s White Student Union received media attention earlier this year when it planned to organize night patrols of the campus in response to a high crime rate. The group’s blog said, “For those who are not Towson students it seems hard to fathom that every single day black predators prey upon the majority white Towson University student body.” Both the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League have called the Towson club a hate group. Read Full Article
What we have to be leary of is whether or not White Student Union groups will become the next hotbed for racist organizations to create with the support of our public universities and tax payer dollars. For most minority students, it is hard enough to leave their environment and attend a university that is predominately white without having to deal with a university sanctioned hate group.