Friday, April 26, 2013

Towson University

Matthew Heimbach is the founder and president of the White Student Union at Towson University located in Towson, Maryland near Baltimore. He says that the mission of the group is, “to create an avenue for people to participate in political, cultural, educational, and social events to celebrate European heritage.” Heimbach also says that, “for those who are not Towson students it seems hard to fathom that every single day black predators prey upon the majority white Towson University student body.”  Many Towson students feel that this group is really a group of White Supremacists and are unhappy that Towson University has allowed the group to exist.  Supporting this belief, the Southern Poverty Law Center has added this group to their “Hate Map”.  Towson University Administration refused to formally recognize the organization as a school group saying that it failed to meet the criteria of a school sponsored group and was not given an advisor or a place to meet.
Towson University has the lowest crime rate of any of the Maryland State Universities.  Based on the school’s diversity statistics, the school is 13% black and 68% white.  The rest of the student population is Asian, American Indian, Hispanic and Other.  With such a small number of African American students, and such a low crime rate in comparison to other schools, it is hard to imagine how the “black predators “ could  “prey upon the majority white student body”. 
The group has organized a campus watch group to assist security with patrolling the campus at night. To me, this seems like another Treyvon Martin incident waiting to happen. The student body and administration are against this and concerned that this will instigate racial profiling and cause campus violence. Administration has warned the group that they are against any group of citizens taking the law into their own hands. Racial profiling is not something to be taken lightly.
In response, the Black Student Union, the Student Government Association, the Greek Student Association and the International Student Association formed a unity group called Be The Change and sponsored a rally and a peace walk.


  1. This article really surprised me, especially Heimbach’s overt statement about “black predators.” This phrase really suggests that the White Student Union is a white supremacist group rather than just a cultural or ethnic pride organization. I agree with the decision of the college administration not to recognize this as an official organization since the group seems to be founded on racism and hatred.

    I would be interested in seeing actual statistics on whether crimes were committed more by black students or by white students. If the distribution was more or less equal, Heimbach’s allegations would be completely false, making the group even more racist. If, however, black students had been charged with more crimes on campus, then the best solution would not be to start a white patrolling group. It’s possible that campus safety officers are more likely to charge black students than white students, like Michelle Alexander describes in The New Jim Crow. The economic and social backgrounds of students who commit crimes should also be examined, in order to understand what motivates these young people and stop the problem before the crimes occur.

  2. This is definitely another Trevyon Martin incident to happen. The formation of this group is itself a threat to peaceful race relations at Townson University, and its campus watch group will no doubt result in racial profiling and possibly violence. While it is good news that the school's administration has spoken out against the White Student Union and refused to recognize them, they have a responsibility to do more. Warning the group is not enough when the safety and livelihood of students is involved. The administration should take greater action against the organization.