University Response to the Creation of White Student Union Facebook Page

November 23, 2015

Dear Student and Community Leaders,

Over the weekend, the University became aware of a group on Facebook identifying itself as the White Student Union at UC Berkeley. The page is clearly intended to fuel conflict and provocation rather than to foster a serious and constructive dialogue among students about issues of race. This does not reflect the values of our campus community. We thank all of the students and community members who reached out to us and shared their voices in solidarity.

Upon review, it seems that this is the work of an outside group. More than 30 of such pages have been created around the country in the last week - which indicates that this page is a part of a national effort, and did not emanate from our campus. This is not a recognized organization on the UC Berkeley campus. We have alerted Facebook about the unauthorized and impermissible use of the University’s trademark and informed them that such sites violate their own terms of service, and hope it will soon be removed or disabled.

We understand and regret that this group's method and message were experienced as hostile and intimidating to students of color on our campus. While UC Berkeley honors First Amendment rights, we do not endorse this attempt to create conflict and make light of the efforts of activists, locally and nationally, who have worked hard to hold us all accountable for providing a campus climate where every student is safe, welcomed and respected.

With best regards,

Nicholas B. Dirks

Na’ilah Suad Nasir
Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion

Since this letter was authored and distributed, the "White Student Union at UC Berkeley" Facebook group has been disabled and is no longer on the site. Thank you again to all those who brought this matter to our attention.