Editorial: Inherent shame in "White Student Union" page

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As a University, we can’t seem to stay out of the headlines. While it seems like a majority of the scandals are caused by our faculty leaving, in recent months, the gross misrepresentation of our school has been caused by a select group of individuals.

On Nov. 18, a Facebook page titled “Illini White Student Union” surfaced after a student solidarity rally was held on the Main Quad.

University officials asked Facebook to take the page down, resulting in the original page being removed. But subsequent pages were put up in the predecessor’s wake — curtailing copyright agreements by swapping the word “Illini” for “The University of Illinois.”

But a simple Facebook search reveals how many other universities have similar pages to this. Harvard, New York University, University of Texas in Austin … the list goes on. These shameful pages only serve to illustrate that racism still permeates college campuses in forms some may not recognize.

However, a rally calling for racial equality shouldn’t be capped off by this page springing up to highlight how deep the issue of racism goes. While the page represents a vast minority of opinions on this campus, we now know there are direct sources of racism at the University. And that is shameful. Those students should be ashamed.

This isn’t subconscious (even though subconscious acts of racism need to be handled and reversed as well), instead, this is a choice. Liking this page — supporting an organization that stands to put one race inherently above another — is an act against the minority students of the University and it needs to end immediately.

As a newspaper and as an editorial board that works on the basis of free speech, we woefully understand that the University cannot request the page to be taken down now that copyright infringement is no longer valid and no other violent threats have been made. Moving forward, students and administration can only distance ourselves as far as possible from the page and let our voices staunchly oppose it.

We stand for the equality of all students, and on a more broad scale, we stand for the equality of all races. While no Facebook page can change the things we stand for, it informs us how far we still have to go, and reminds us how much harder we have to work to ensure equality.