Is it okay for students to form ‘White Student Union’?

Robby Soave | Reporter

A student at Georgia State University is garnering considerable negative publicity for his new group, the “White Student Union.”

Patrick Sharp, a freshman at GSU, intends the club to function as a celebration of white culture. He said in an interview with WXIA-TV Atlanta that he is perfectly willing to work with other culture-specific clubs to host joint events. But critics on campus are already lambasting him for what some see as a Nazi organization.

Soon after Sharp began promoting his group during the summer semester, flyers appeared all over campus labeling him a white supremacist — a term he vigorously denies.

“To say this is some closeted or curtained white supremacy … it’s pretty ignorant and close minded,” he said in a statement. “It’s a pride organization. What we have is not hate for any other group.”

Sharp’s advertisements for his club note that there are already black and Latinos student groups at GSU.

Still, students were quick to cast suspicion on Sharp’s motives. Administrators received at least six complaints about the idea of the group from other students throughout the summer.

“It’s just the name I think, really to be honest, that might make you go to that place in your head where you are like well what is that about,” said a GSU senior in a statement.

Campus officials maintained that Sharp was well within his rights to start such a group.

But Sharp said that he was unlikely to seek official recognition, since that would require finding a formal adviser among the faculty.

GSU is not the first university to form a group for white students. Towson University’s “White Student Union” made headlines last spring for conducting nighttime safety patrols and expressing views that many considered to be racist.

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