Non-profit calls for president to denounce White Union
Members of the non-profit Center for Community Change were asked to leave University President Maravene Loeschke’s inauguration ceremony Friday afternoon.
The Washington D.C.-based non-profit was attempting to deliver over 1,200 petitions that called for her to publically denounce a White Student Union.
Chief of Towson Police Bernard Gerst said he was not aware of the group being escorted out of Towson Center, and the group was just asked to leave the lobby so the procession could enter the ceremony.
“I’m sure there will be ample opportunity for them to present President Loeschke the petitions at her office after this,” Gerst said.
After leaving the Towson Center, Pleitez and the three other members went to the Administration Building in an attempt to give Loeschke the petitions after her inauguration.
“We promoted the petitions through the website Change.org,” Alesia Lucas, one of the group members said. “We had it set up so that each time someone signed a petition, the President’s office would get an email about it, so even if the president doesn’t know about these petitions already, her secretary definitely does.”
The President’s office was closed for inauguration and could not be reached for comment.
After waiting at the Administration Building, the group left the petitions outside the door to the President’s office, Lucas said.
Lucas said the group was inspired to start the petition after seeing several national and local stories about the possibility of a White Student Union coming to Towson.
Because her group supports low-income people of color in D.C., she said she found the idea of the student union unacceptable.
“Allowing a whites only student group directly contradicts your commitment to diversity—and it serves no purpose other than to discriminate against non-white students,” the petition reads on Change.org. “As the President of Towson University, I urge you to publicly denounce the creation and establishment of the ‘White Student Union.’”
Rob Friedlander, member of the Center for Community Change, and one of the circulators of the petitions, said he hopes the University will make a public statement about the proposed union after seeing the petitions.
“They need to publicly come out against it,” he said. “It’s a national story, and this type of group is offensive to any type of minority community. I just think a statement or a press release from the President or the University would be appropriate.”
None of the group members who attempted to deliver the petition were Towson students.
-Brandi Bottalico contributed to this article