We’ve got to give it to Towson student Matthew Heimbach: the guy is good at stirring up trouble. You might remember him from his presidency of Youth for Western Civilization, the group that enraged many on the Towson campus by hosting Straight Pride Day and chalking “White Pride” slogans on the school’s sidewalks. After YWC’s speech got a little too hate-y last year, its lone faculty sponsor abandoned ship, and the group lost its official school-approved status. But Heimbach is clearly not one to give up without a fight, and now he’s angling to form a White Student Union. Cue the drama.
According to Heimbach, the group would be a support network for white students on campus, and a place where white history and famous white people could be celebrated. “We essentially want to replicate what every student union does on campus,” Heimbach says. “You have a Black Student Union who promotes black heroes, we want to do the same thing.”
Where YWC was an actively political group, the proposed White Student Union would be friendlier, Heimbach claims. “We’d also want to create a safe space for members who have filed hate/bias reports and who have had anti-white language used against them,” he told the Towson Towerlight. “Especially the female members who have heard ‘cracker’ and ‘honkie,’ and nothing has ever come of it. It’s a support network for a campus that is hostile toward white students.”
Of course, the worry is that underneath Heimbach’s relentless “white pride” rhetoric is an insidious white power message — and after much news about the Sikh temple shooter’s ties to the white power movement in the Baltimore area, Heimbach’s plan is not exactly winning him a ton of fans with the school administration. The group has not yet filled out a formal application to become an official school group, Towson officials say. “We aren’t concerned with them right now,” said Associate Vice President of Campus Life Teri Hall. “We are interested to see how it will pan out. If they do become a student group, SGA will get feedback from students about how they feel the group is on campus, and we will act from there. I am always open to acting on what the students want.”
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