TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)– A controversial proposal from a Towson University student is opening up old wounds. A student organization is planning to start a “White Student Union.”
Rochelle Ritchie has reaction from the university and students.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: 1.5K New Cases & 17 Deaths Reported Saturday
Matthew Heimbach’s reasoning can be found in the college newspaper where he says white students deserve an exclusive club only for them.
Inside this week’s Towson University newspaper, Heimbach is seen holding a Confederate flag in front of Martin Luther King Jr.’s church in Montgomery, Ala. He says: “We want to replicate what every student union does on campus.”
His solution: Start a White Student Union.
“I don’t know why anyone would want to start that. It doesn’t really make sense,” Kelsey Ports, a junior at Towson University, said.
In the article, Heimbach says there is a Black Student Union that promotes their heroes, and he wants to do the same.
“We had to congregate together because we weren’t allowed to congregate with whites,” Julian Carroll, a junior at the university, said. “There is a difference between a White Student Union and a Black Student Union based on the history of America.”READ MORE: People In Baltimore Protest In Solidarity, Mourning Daunte Wright's Death After He Was Fatally Shot By Police During Traffic Stop In Minnesota
This isn’t Heimbach’s first attempt to start a controversial group. He succeeded before with Youth for Western Civilization. The group gained negative attention after messages of white pride were written in chalk across campus.
“We want to be able to promote on campus for students who want to be proud of their heritage and the foundations of this country and stand up for themselves,” Heimbach said of the Youth for Western Civilization.
Richard Vatz resigned as adviser for that group. He says that just because the name changes, the principles don’t.
“When you have a group that calls themselves the White Student Union, their only purpose is generally hostility towards those who are non-white,” Vatz, a communications professor at Towson University, said.
Right now, no application is on file with the university to start the White Student Union. If it is discriminatory, it will not be approved.
“If inclusiveness is not the plan, then it will not be recognized by the Student Government Association,” Dr. Teri Hall, vice president of Student Affairs at Towson University, said.MORE NEWS: Pause In Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Could Delay Maryland's Goals As Baltimore City Emerges As Potential New Hotspot
In the college newspaper, Heimbach says 17 students have an interest in joining the White Student Union. He tells WJZ that although he could not be reached before this story was written, he would like to talk about the union and their plans at Towson University.