A screen shot of the Facebook group titled "Union of White Cornell Students."

A screen shot of the Facebook group titled "Union of White Cornell Students."

March 3, 2016

Union of White Students Forms at Cornell, Aims to “Advance Their Race”

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A group of anonymous students titling themselves the “Union of White Students at Cornell” penned an open letter to the Cornell community, saying the group aims to “preserve and advance their race.”

In the letter, the group claims it is comprised of over 100 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students who have been meeting covertly to “avoid character assassinations of the press and the Black Lives Matter extremist groups.”

“The rhetoric in mainstream media and even our own higher academia has proven to be toxic and divisive attempting to undermine the efforts of the white race and even promote shaming and self-guilt,” the letter proclaims. “We are a community that attempts to recognize the many accomplishments of the white race and preserve our heritage.”

The group says it takes issues with the administration’s consideration of demands made by black student groups at Cornell, citing Black Student United’s request that the name of Cornell Plantations be amended as an example of a “puerile demand” from a minority group.

“We have observed this here at Cornell and are ashamed at the response of the University to placate these delusional minority groups on-campus honoring their demands,” the letter says.

The writers of the letter also found fault with the protests and proposals on college campuses beyond Ithaca; singling out the actions of Melissa Click, a former professor at the University of Missouri who was fired after an altercation with a student journalist; incidents of “black activists calling for the murder of white people” and “extremists” at Dartmouth “harassing students in the library.”

Speaking on their goals in creating the group, the Union of White Cornell Students said they plan to continue to unite white students at Cornell and act to counter the “nonsensical” demands of minority groups on campus.

“We will seek to strengthen our university with fellow white students and reverse the nonsensical demands of extremist organizations on our campus,” the letter said. “We will continue to meet in secrecy and going forward will open our group to new members in an agreed upon manner to maintain the safety and identities of our members.”

The group declined to name any member of their group when approached for comment on Thursday. The group’s Facebook page features a profile picture captioned with “#MakeAmericaGreatAgain #Trump2016” and has received 15 likes since being created Wednesday night.

Similar Facebook groups were also created in November last year at other universities across the country, including New York University, University of Missouri and Swarthmore College. However, according to The Daily Beast, many of these groups were exposed as fake. It has yet to be confirmed whether Cornell’s iteration of the group is legitimate.

  • Heathen on the Hill

    Friendly reminder that if you believe this is real you’ve been trolled. This is made to get people mad. It’s obvious. Poor reporting by the sun to not realize it’s a joke.

  • realist

    99% chance this ‘Group’ is either a very tasteless joke by a lone, tasteless troll, or the FB group was made by people who stand to gain from keeping everyone’s attention on the concocted racial ‘tensions’ here at Cornell.

  • Susan ’61

    Got to be prank.

  • Byron ’13

    Why make this a “White Students” issue? Do you have to be White to think Ms. Click’s actions were inappropriate? Why does one have to be White to think the Plantations should keep their name because it has nothing to do with racial inequality on campus? I disagree with the idea that the Plantations’ name is somehow contributing to inequality on campus, but trying to frame this as a Whites vs. minorities issue does nothing to advance any kind of civil or scholarly discourse (Professor Ed Baptist, who believes the name should be changed and has been vocal about his belief it will always have racist connotations, is White).

    Cornell students are smart enough to know that any group with “White Students” in its name will result in nothing but race baiting. The creation of this group is exactly the kind of identity politics its (anonymous) founders claim they’re fighting. It will serve to do nothing but take focus away from the issues being discussed.

    It’s also worth noting that the administration says it has been considering a rebranding of the Plantations since before the latest protests on campus, so creating a racially segregated group specifically to target the protesters is not only fanning the flames, it’s not actually addressing the root on the issue.

    This is good supplementary reading on the issue for anybody interesting is real debate, not identity politics: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/02/22/cornell-plantations-focus-debate-language-slavery

    • Byron ’13

      (I hope this is a prank, too, by the way)

  • Carolnelian

    How can over 100 people ‘secretly’ meet and no one has heard about it? There aren’t many venues in Ithaca that would hold 100 people without someone taking notice.

  • GoBigRed

    White student group Facebook pages have been popping up at universities all across the country. The same thing happened at UC Berkeley, among other places. The creators of this group likely do not attend Cornell. Rather, it’s the same group of trolls making these pages for a bunch of different schools. Just ignore them and they’ll go away. See http://www.dailycal.org/2015/11/21/alleged-campus-white-student-union-facebook-page-created/

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  • JT

    This…INCREDIBLY suspicious. Take no heed until we have formal proof that this is real.

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  • Distressed


    I am all for freedom of speech, but this is such a “stuck in the past” moment for Cornell students. Talk about fulfilling the stereotype for Cornell being “old money” or an “old boys club” where mummy and daddy send their white-collared kids to spend their money and get a halo effect.
    I know for a FACT that this is not the way Cornell wants to be seen, and this is not how the general student body views minority groups. As a University who has built its excellence off of the brilliance that diversity brings – this group cannot be tolerated as spitting in the face of diversity!!

    I am curious to see how the university reacts.

    • Equality 101

      If you don’t want to defend freedom of speech for things that you find utterly revolting, horrible, embarrassing, crass, or hateful, you don’t want freedom of speech at all. You just want to push your views unopposed while calling foul play on any opposition. Some of us are actually capable of tolerating things we don’t like because we recognize the significance of rights.

    • That Guy

      So how would you describe the #BlackLivesMatter movement? “Stuck in the past”? Or is this a big move ‘forward’? Why is it OK to be black and racist, but not OK to be white and proud?

  • Udonno

    This is nothing new. Its called fraternities.

  • Rohb

    I came to Cornell in the mid 70’s, just as the last of the more outspoken older black intellectuals were leaving. These students provided me with one of the most valuable components of my tertiary education. From them, I learned to stand up for what was right and to be proud of my unique racial heritage.

    After all these years, the same vapid nonsense threatens to rear it’s ugly head; that of hate-mongering, cowardly race baiting and the threat of white student retaliation against minorities attempting to maintain dignity against the odds.

    Look closely. This is an integral part of of the efforts of small groups of cowards to discredit the Obama administration and undermine the progress of arguably successful minority students from exceptional schools. Ignore them. If they are found to be meeting secretly as they claim, then infiltrate them!

  • David Wade

    This isn’t for real, it’s an Internet trolling scam.

  • HELLO !
    During in our military high school….”Caucasian” .they told me…
    Are you a “native “?…Oh! answer : YES!
    We told them we lived in branches’ trees…
    God! from Island CUBA Opss!
    Guys to you know who many times had to fight..
    Unbelievable….. Jesus…give me a break!
    Charlie G/Miami Fla

  • Escapee

    Regardless of who created this (probably a black lives matters person), this seems like a perfect microcosm of everything wrong with Cornell and academia.

  • Former Student

    This is lazy, irresponsible reporting and the article should be deleted / retracted unless the author is able to find tangible evidence that this group exists. If the author was unable to verify the existience of this group with a single memeber, how did this even make publication? White Student Union facebook pages have already been proven to be hoaxes at a host of other universities (a simple google search would have revealed that). This article unnecessarily paints Cornell students in a bad light and spreads misinformation.

    • old alum

      Unless this is a joke, please remove the article. This spreads hate and suspicion, and is below the standards of the Sun. If its a joke, it is a tasteless one.

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