Controversial 'White Student Union' U-M Facebook page starts

A controversial U-M White Student Union Facebook page was taken down.

- Black students across the country are rallying on campus and raising awareness about ongoing issues of racism.

It is a movement that's been growing after protests at the University of Missouri made national headlines. But now there's a counter-movement spreading to schools in Michigan, including U-M.

A controversy has appeared on the University of Michigan's campus, courtesy of a Facebook page called "University of Michigan White Student Union."

"Let's say someone makes a black student union thing, I think that's fine," said student Tyler Smith, who is white. "Someone makes a white student union thing, I think that's fine too."

"I think it's fine, black people have their own union and other ," said student Kiya Johnson, who is black. "And other minorities do, too so I don't think that it is a problem for white people to have their own thing, either."

According to the self-proclaimed political organization part of the group's description states,  "We provide a safe space for white students to air their feelings about our nation's future, discuss and reflect on our glorious past, and begin programs to reclaim that lost glory."

Depending who you ask, it is a welcome forum, not welcome at all, or a topic to be avoided.

One thing is clear, U-M is not alone. Dozens of universities from Berkeley, California to Central Florida have seen these groups pop up claiming to be in response to nationwide movements like "Black Lives Matter" among other racially charged issues.

And in most cases universities have responded.

The address listed on the Facebook page is 500 S. State Street which is the Literature, Science and Arts Building. That is where the university takes issue, they say the group is using the university's logo, and university owned property. So they contacted Facebook and asked to shut it all down.

"The school has the right to tell them to stop using that stuff," said student David Radtke, who is white.

A statement from University of Michigan's President Mark Schlissel calls it a "false Facebook page" and reads in part:

"We affirm the importance of the First Amendment and the rights of all people to express their views, even when those opinions may offend others.  Our view is that this posting does not contribute to a thoughtful dialogue."

Other, including Smith, says this is exactly where this type of dialogue belongs.

A similar effort was attempted at Michigan State University called "Go White MSU." Facebook has since removed their page and according to U-M, will likely do the same in this situation.

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