Dirks issues statement on UC Berkeley White Student Union page

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Campus administrators issued a statement Monday regarding the UC Berkeley White Student Union Facebook page, which, since the letter’s publication, has been deleted.

Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, along with Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion Na’ilah Suad Nasir, addressed UC Berkeley students and community members in the letterposted on the Berkeley Diversity website, stating that the page did not “foster a serious and constructive dialogue” about race.

“While UC Berkeley honors First Amendment rights, we do not endorse this attempt to create conflict and make light of the efforts of activists, locally and nationally, who have worked hard to hold us all accountable for providing a campus climate where every student is safe, welcomed and respected,” Dirks and Nasir said in the letter.

The page was initially created Saturday evening and was quickly the center of contention within the campus community. It was deleted Monday, but that evening, however, a new page named “White Student Union at UC Berkeley” had been created.

Various students took to social media to voice their concerns regarding the group’s creation. While some students expressed anger, some simply doubted the group’s validity.

“This does not reflect the values of our campus community,” Dirks and Nasir said in the letter. “We thank all of the students and community members who reached out to us and shared their voices in solidarity.”

Adrienne Shih is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @adrienneshih.

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  • guestwho2

    “Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion Na’ilah Suad Nasir”

    Orwell combined with Frank Herbert.

    Claiming XYZ ‘does not reflect values of our campus community’ is carte blanche for administrators to squelch whatever they like without further explanation or justification.

  • Charlie Alvarez

    I’m Latino but believe that if blacks, Latinos and Asians can have cultural identity groups, then white folks should be able to have them too. Personally I would like to see ALL that race-based nonsense end, but since that will not happen let the white folks have one too.

  • alan

    Ban all ethnic student unions. Make fair across the board.

  • Curtis Jones

    More liberal fascism !

  • Jackson_Pollock

    .

    Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion

    I had no idea

    .

  • CalAlum99

    Oh Dirks, falling right into a classic troll move.

  • M_Young

    Whites need a voice…and an intelligent one. I hope the folks behind the original page and the new one are in fact Berkeley students.

    A huge obstacle to having an university recognized White Student Union is that normally a faculty advisor is required (I’m a UC but not a Berk alum, and that’s the way it was were I graduated) . Taking on such a role would be career suicide in the present atmosphere on campuses.

    BTW, whites are a smallish minority on UC campuses, so its not like they have the excuse that whites are the majority.

    • So Kali

      Well, you voiceless Whities have Trump to speak for you. Now go change into your other Brown Shirt.

      • Realist

        Jejune !…..(look it up)…..

      • garyfouse

        Can I borrow yours?

  • SeeThroughYou

    Haven’t you guys taken this “White Guilt” thing a little too far?

    I wouldn’t send my kid to UC Berkeley if they were given a full ride scholarship…

    • Abstraction

      If you think it’s just Berkeley, you are kidding yourself.

      Berkeley is one of the better universities that still allows free speech on all sides.

  • diogenes

    People who “support First Amendment rights” except when it involves someone expressing views they don’t approve of are hypocritical bullies with no respect for human rights. This kind of authoritarian behavior on the part of UC administration is no surprise — indeed, it is a tradition of many decades duration. And it is shameful and a disgrace to the university on the same level as the loyalty oaths of the 50s.

  • lspanker

    What else can one expect from Dirks or any other cowardly, spineless campus educrat over some mealy-mouth statement designed to placate the howling mob?

    • JohnFHudson

      We cannot expect much respect for the First Amendment from Dirks if only because of his background. He is a Canadian. Canada allows suppression of communications in furtherance of government policy. They do not have the same concept of free speech that we have. Dirks should go back to Canada where he can legally oppress the speech of those who oppose official policy.

  • ithakavi

    Dey wite stoonts shoont be habbin a stoont yoonin of dere own seffs cuz de stoont yoonyin does be oney fo de stoonts dey not bein’ wite and no be habin de privlijusses. It does be raciss to try doon what we be doon alla time. Nome sane?

    • JohnFHudson

      I’m sorry. I passed Subject A.

      • ithakavi

        Subjeck A be raciss and discrimat’ wid de bruvvers and sissuhs hoo don’ lak a be habbin a lern de yurronsentrickity stuff, yo. We a deman’ makin all you offays lern de a rite wid de ebonicals jus lik’ we be habbin in Compton.

        • JohnFHudson

          You make me feel ashamed to be an educated white man. Really, really ashamed.

          • ithakavi

            I very much doubt you merit that description, Skippy.

    • Anneke9

      Wow… didn’t realize Joel Chandler Harris was still alive.

  • ShadrachSmith

    All race based support groups are good, except for you…whitey.

    Did I read that right?

    • Jonathan Lea

      Na’ilah Suad Nasir said that the page did not foster a serious and constructive dialogue. That’s opinion not fact….

      But let’s take away the European American right to free speech anyway.

  • JohnFHudson

    So Dirks wants “…a campus climate where every student is safe, welcomed and respected”? What a hypocrite! He has made it clear that he thinks it is good social policy to deny white and Asian students admission in favor of less qualified “underrepresented” groups. Clearly the students behind the white student union do not feel safe. If they did they would make their names known just like the students behind the black student union, the Asian student union, the gay student union and the Chicano student union all do. Instead he makes t6he students behind the white student union feel persecuted by persecuting them and violating their right to organize and communicate. I hope he gets the pants sued off him in federal court for violating their civil rights. In the meantime, we should withhold donations to UC until Dirks is removed.

    • s randall

      If you bothered to read the letter, the “UC Berkeley White Student Union” is not an organization recognized by UC Berkeley. That makes the use of “UC Berkeley” by the Facebook posters a misappropriation. It doesn’t seem to be a civil rights or a free speech issue, it’s more like the university exercising its intellectual property rights.

      • JohnFHudson

        It’s perfectly legal to use the name of the University of California, or any derivation thereof, for First Amendment activity such as this. It’s called “fair use”. It is an exception to the copyright and trademark laws. Dirks stepped in it and is trying to cover up with this pathetic claim. He would never try to invoke this nonsense against the black student union, chicano student union, or any group except the white student union. This is a clear violation of the First Amendment rights of those trying to start a white student union. With any luck they will find an aggressive lawyer who will make Dirks suffer.

        • s randall

          I think if there were really a group of students that organized a “White Students Union” Facebook page, the page would not have come down. When it’s a bunch of nameless, faceless people that just want to stir up things, then I think it’s more than reasonable to ask for it to be taken down. Let these people demonstrate that they are real people. Then they can have their Facebook page. Then they can have a voice.

          • JohnFHudson

            Dirks used the power and prestige of the University of California to repress the First Amendment activity of people he did not like. Now THAT is a misappropriation.

          • ithakavi

            Um … like the ‘Hands Up Don’t Shoot’ people marching in ski masks? Not much for consistency, are you, Sparky?

          • M_Young

            The climate on campus is such that white students who do have a racial consciousness are hounded and persecuted. Anonymity is appropriate at this time.

          • s randall

            I’m a UC but not a Berk alum, and that’s the way it was were I graduated

            Earlier you posted that you are not a “Berk alum”, and now you are making an assertion about “the climate on campus.” Did a little birdie tell you?

          • So Kali

            It’s the voices in M Y’s head Randall.

          • lspanker

            Are you the one flagging John’s posts? Seems to be the usual tactic of those who can’t win an argument.

          • s randall

            Are you talking about the guy that’s ashamed to be white? No. I’ve never flagged any post, except for blatant advertising.

          • Funkenstein✓FuNk-ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Hi troll! I see all your IDs..hahahhhhaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • ithakavi

        Sort of like Barry Obama having a copyright on the word ‘a-hole.’

      • diogenes

        So, only those who have “UC Berkeley administration recognition” are allowed to enjoy First Amendment rights?

      • M_Young

        The section of the letter quoted here doesn’t seem to mention intellectual property rights.

        • s randall

          The following was taken from the letter.

          We have alerted Facebook about the unauthorized and impermissible use of
          the University’s trademark and informed them that such sites violate
          their own terms of service, and hope it will soon be removed or
          disabled.​

          I’m sure you are without a clue. First clue: google “trademark.”