McMaster University's 'White Student Union' appears to be a hoax
Legitimacy questioned of similar Facebook pages for other Canadian universities
McMaster University and its student union say there's no evidence that a group claiming to be the the "McMaster White Student Union" on Facebook is legitimate — as the page itself appears to be part of a widespread hoax.
Similar pages have popped up claiming affiliation with Western University in London, Ont., the University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto and New York University. All of them were created around the same time.
Neither McMaster officials nor the student union had heard of the page when contacted by a CBC reporter.
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"It is unclear whether this page is the work of an individual or group. A quick scan reveals it appears there have been a number of similar pages set up recently referencing a number of other universities across North America," said McMaster spokesperson Gord Arbeau.
"The page in question is in no way affiliated with the McMaster Students Union, its Clubs Department, or any other MSU service," said Ehima Osazuwa, MSU President.
The "White Student Union" page claiming affiliation with McMaster first started posting on Sunday. As of Tuesday afternoon, it had 41 likes.
Pages linked to white supremacy site
A post on Medium links the pages to a post from the white supremacy blog The Daily Stormer, which encouraged readers to create more "White Student Unions" that only exist through social media.
"Make more of these white student union pages on Facebook for various universities," the post reads. "You don't have to go there."
"Get it up, then forward links to the local media. Just fill it up with pro-white memes and "we've had enough of these people" rhetoric."
Very little has been posted to the McMaster page except for a few memes, classic paintings and a statement that it is supposedly, "dedicated to fostering support for European-American students, and providing a forum for discussion of European-American issues."
The person who is running the page declined a phone interview when contacted by a reporter.
"I'm sorry but while we would like to discuss the student union, the amount of hatred some people seem to harbour for any European-Americans wishing to organize makes our members uneasy about making aspects of their personal identity known," the person said.
NYU page deemed a hoax
After a reporter asked if any of the supposed union's members actually attended McMaster University, the person answering for the page stopped responding.
Western University has released a statement saying the corresponding Facebook page claiming a link to its school doesn't represent any sanctioned group. The school says it is trying to figure out who created the page.
The NYU page has been deemed a hoax by university officials, according to the New York Daily News.
Back in September, three Toronto-area universities pulled down posters around campuses that appeared to advertise a union for white students.
The University of Toronto, Ryerson University and York University all said the group, called Students for Western Civilization, was not sanctioned at any of the schools and not allowed to put up the posters.