University Housing denied Patrick Sharp, founder of the non-university chartered White Student Union, access to a Panther Excellence Program event Aug. 1.
The PEP event, or CampFyre, is a three-day/two-night experience at Georgia State for first year residential students. According to event coordinators, Sharp’s White Student Union was not officially registered into the school organization system, Orgsync.com, making it ineligible to promote itself to incoming first-year students.
However, according to Sharp, CampFyre event coordinators had confirmed his attendance several months back, even though the White Student Union is not a chartered Georgia State organization.
Zduy Chu, University Commons Resident Administrator, told Sharp he had sent him an email today notifying him of his ineligibility, but Sharp says he never got such email.
“No one told me I couldn’t come,” Sharp said. “But nothing’s really changed, we’re still promoting racial identity.”
Although denied entrance to the event, Sharp set up his posters and fliers outside room 460 of the University Center, where the CampFyre event took place.
Out of those who stopped and talked to Sharp about the White Student Union, only a few asked questions about it, two people took pictures and no one joined.
“When we become a minority, it’s going to be us in that same boat as these minority groups,” Sharp said. “It is clear that it’s people who make up a culture. It’s not a culture who makes up the people.”
Public relations coordinator for the Muslim Student Alliance, Abdurrahman Darvesh, said although everyone should be allowed to represent what they believe in, there’s no such thing as a majority demographic.
“Everyone is a minority,” he said. “There’s so many different cultures that you can’t identify with just one person being the face of the country.”
Today’s CampFyre event, which saw more than 100 first-year students, was hosted by University Housing, whose event coordinators provided students with an introduction to student life on campus and meetings with various student organizations.
Some of the organizations allowed attendance were the African Student Alliance, the Muslim Students Association and several organizations from Georgia State’s Greek life.
“If they have issues being a white American or euro-American, they should be able to stand up for it,” Breeana Minton, member of the National Black Law Students Association, said. “The main issue is that they’re associated with the Towson, Maryland White Student Union, which is a hate group.”
Although Sharp has repeatedly denied allegations of being a neo-Nazi organization, he admits ties with controversial groups like the Traditional Youth Network, which links Sharp’s organization to their website, and Matthew Heimbach’s White Student Union in Towson, Maryland.
“TradYouth is people who are traditionally driven,” said Sharp. “I can’t say I agree with everything they do. We are not white supremacists or are affiliated with that.”
According to the School Code of Conduct, if Sharp’s White Student Union were officially instated as a chartered institution by the school, funding for the organization would come from the student organization fee, paid every semester by Georgia State students.