University Responds to ‘White Student Union’ Facebook Account

Postings on the account do not reflect values of GW community, university official says.

person looking at computer screen
November 23, 2015

More than 30 universities, including the George Washington University, have seen Facebook pages spring up for supposedly school-affiliated “White Student Union” groups over the past week.

The university issued the following statement:

“The George Washington University is committed to fostering a welcoming and safe environment for every member of the GW community. The university has been targeted by a new Facebook page representing itself as a white student union. Other universities around the country have seen similar pages being created in the last week in what appears to be an orchestrated effort. This group is not a recognized student organization, nor does it in any way reflect the values of the university community, which embraces our rich diversity of students, faculty and staff. While the university recognizes the right to free speech, any attempts to intimidate or discriminate against any members of the university community will not be tolerated. We have reported the page to Facebook and requested that they take it down as soon as possible.”

The spate of accounts may be related to a thread on Internet message board 4chan encouraging users to create “European student union” pages at “the most leftist colleges and universities in the western world.”

The “George Washington University white student union” page was created Sunday. Online, students reacted with distaste. One commenter described the page as “a poor attempt at a troll account.”

“It’s unfortunate that there are people out there who use social media to harass or intimidate our students,” said Jon Hussey, managing director of digital marketing strategy at GW. “This kind of behavior is not tolerated on our campus or on our social media accounts.

“We have sent several requests to Facebook to have the page removed and are awaiting a response.”