White Student Union Moving Forward at Towson U
Matthew Heimbach, interim president of the controversial group, said paperwork to become an official student group will be filed Friday.
The White Student Union is moving ahead with its attempt to gain official recognition as a Towson University student group.
"We're going to file anyway," he said.
The group believes the requirement is illegal and membership may consider legal action if issues arise, Heimbach said. He claimed that school administrators had pressured faculty against his group.
"The university just doesn't want bad press," he said.
Heimbach, a senior, denied accusations that the White Student Union is racist with an emphatic "of course not."
"The very fact that people think it's racist shows that there is anti-white sentiment out there," he said. "If we were truly in favor of diversity, no one would care."
Despite not yet achieving official status, petitions are already circulating against the White Student Union.
When asked specifically what the group hoped to accomplish, Heimbach said he planned to have speakers on campus, educate and advocate for "white interests."
"We're just looking to do what every other group does," he said.
Heimbach was previously president of the former Youth for Western Civilization, which incited controversy earlier this year after members reportedly scrawled "white pride" in chalk at campus locations. He disputed racist motivations behind that group as well.
"We never did anything that provoked anyone," he said.
Although Towson University has a majority white student population, Heimbach argues there is discrimination and harassment against the race—particularly against white women—on campus. However, he pointed out that white men are also suffering.
"I've heard 'you white boys don't belong here,'" he said. "There is anti-white bias on this campus."
Heimbach said he recognized some of the aggressors as members of the campus' Black Student Union, but said he doesn't condemn the student group as a whole.
"Those were just a few bad apples," he said.
Heimbach urges his detractors to think carefully about racial equality.
"Live up to what you preach," he said. "We're the victims here."
Towson University representatives were not immediately available for comment, although a spokeswoman previously said the school would not comment until paperwork had been filed.
In the campus newspaper The Towerlight on Wednesday, college president Maravene Loeschke addressed the controversy.
"The exchange of opinions and debate is a core principle of higher education and is supported by Towson's commitment to the First Amendment," she wrote in a statement. "Unfortunately, this freedom on occasion allows for ideas that are offensive and hurtful to many and runs against the grain of the values of Towson University."