November 25, 2015 2:28 pm
Updated: November 25, 2015 3:35 pm

Controversial Facebook page claims to represent white students at UBC

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A Facebook page claiming to represent white students at the University of British Columbia is sparking controversy, prompting an official response from the university.

A post on the page that has been “liked” by nearly 600 people reads:

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“Students of the European diaspora on college campuses face unique and immediate challenges that are ignored or even actively denied in today’s cultural climate. We unapologetically provide a safe space for white students to air their true feelings about the future of our nation, discuss and reflect on the lessons laid down for us by our great writers, philosophers, and artists, and develop a positive program to restore the pioneering will and greatness of our unique and virtuous people.”

The page has received mixed reviews with some accusing the founders of racism, and others commending the page’s existence.

Similar Facebook pages have sprung up for other schools in the United States and Canada, including University of Victoria, with some suggestions the pages may be a hoax.

On Monday, UBC released the following statement, saying there is no connection between the university and the page.

“Several members of the UBC community made us aware of the Facebook page “UBC White Student Union.” This is not a UBC operated or sanctioned page, nor is it an organization recognized by or affiliated with UBC. UBC is not responsible for the content on this page and does not endorse its content. Given the confusion caused by the use of UBC trademarks on this page, UBC will be requesting that this organization cease using UBC’s trademarks.”

The UBC logo has now been removed from the page.

It has not been confirmed who is behind the UBC White Student Union, but one of the founders who would only identify himself as Derek, told Global News it is comprised of 29 former and current UBC students, as well as several Vancouverites “who have taken a strong interest in the union.”

Derek says they are affiliated with the UVIC White Student Union.

He says, unlike other ethnic and cultural groups, they have no organized lobby for their interests.

“We seek to honour our past while promoting a positive, peaceful vision of the future,” he says. “One in which every ethnic group has the right to organize and represent themselves and their interests.”

As far as criticism goes, Derek says some people have commented that the page is unnecessary because there are many white people present in the university’s administration and student union.

“There are many Chinese individuals present in business and political institutions in Vancouver; does this mean that they represent Chinese people and their interests? To assert such a thing would be reprehensible,” he adds.

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