Rutgers: White Student Union ‘does not exist’ at the university
Rutgers University officials say an organization calling itself the "White Student Union at Rutgers University" is not in any way affiliated with the university.
"This organization does not exist at Rutgers," University Spokesman Greg Trevor told NJ 101.5 on Thursday.
The group, which was started in November according to its social media profile, is one of about 30 White Student Unions that have emerged and started Facebook pages in the past two weeks.
On it's page the WSU describes itself as "a new organization dedicated to the cultural preservation and promotion of white students at Rutgers and around the world. Get involved, and learn your true history." The profile also clarifies that the "page is not endorsed or associated with the Rutgers University Administration in whole or in part."
According to TheDailyBeast.com, the majority of the WSU pages that have been created are fake, "or at least, the on-campus clubs they claim to represent are." The story described the group founders as "racist trolls from message boards 4chan and 8chan."
In an email interview with The Daily Targum, the Rutgers University newspaper, the anonymous admin of the WSU Facebook page claimed to be a student at Rutgers who also grew up in New Jersey.
"We wish to provide an intellectual environment from which white students and allies may learn about their rich and beautiful culture, history and society. This too is slowly being taken from us," the admin wrote to the Targum.
The admin also told the newspaper that the WSU was initially formed as part of a hoax by someone who does not attend Rutgers. "But after learning of the page, they contacted its original creator, who handed ownership of the page over to the student," the Targum reported. The admin denied that the WSU Facebook pages that have emerged throughout the country are the product of trolls.
Those who run the WSU at Rutgers Facebook page have been at odds with the university's administration and have denounced officials for "hassling" the profile. According to the university's spokesman, the issues stem from "violations of trademark agreements." Trevor said Thursday that the university has been working with Facebook because of the WSU's use of trademarked images.
"As many of you know, the white student unions around the country have been attacked vigorously with copyright claims," the WSU said in a Facebook post on Nov. 30. "To combat this, we made our own ORIGINAL content. It consisted of a simple red letter R, and the letters 'WSU' in black. The Rutgers Administration believes that they own all red letter R's and filed a copyright complaint with Facebook. This goes beyond copyright claims, and we consider it harassment."
According to the group, they have filed a report with Facebook for the right to use the "original content" they created.
"We will not back down from this. We are tired of being harassed. With this matter, we assuredly stand our ground," the post states. "To the Rutgers Administration, may great shame befall on your terror tactics."
It is possible for anyone to create a Facebook page or group, even for a university they do not attend.
On it's page the WSU primarily posts links to articles and pictures pertaining to race or racially-spurred incidents, such as the arrest of a black woman, formerly a student at Kean University, who was charged with making false Twitter threats against black students at the university. They have also posted pictures pertaining to race.
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor at NJ 101.5. Reach her at email@example.com, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.