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Harvard investigating ‘White Student Union’ Facebook page

Harvard University officials are scrutinizing a Facebook page that touts a connection to the school and pledges to defend “the inherent rights of White Europeans.”

A page called “White Student Union at Harvard University,” which describes itself as a community organization pushing back against white guilt, appeared on Facebook last week. It’s not clear who is behind the account.

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“We are closely monitoring the situation,” said Harvard spokeswoman Rachael Dane.

Dane said Rakesh Khurana, dean of the college, had notified the school’s Office of General Counsel.

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“They are investigating,” she said.

The Facebook page resembles others that have appeared at colleges and universities across the country in recent weeks.

Similar accounts were created at New York University, the University of California Berkeley, Penn State, and the University of Missouri, according to The New York Times.

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Someone also created a Facebook page for a “white student union” at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. But the page is a hoax, according to a statement posted by student trustee Emily O’Neil and shared by university officials.

“No such organization exists at UMass Amherst, despite purposefully misleading posts on the page that would indicate otherwise,” O’Neil wrote. “The page was likely created by a part of a national campaign by Internet trolls who seek to make students around the country feel unsafe where they live and learn.”

The page that claims to be affiliated with Harvard says that it was inspired by the creation of Facebook groups at other schools.

“We will not tolerate the incessant lies spread about our people by the Black Lives Matter movement,” the person, or persons, moderating the “Harvard” page wrote. “The era of whites feeling guilty for our mere existence, as if we have somehow wronged others, is over.”

It’s unclear if the page was created by anyone connected to Harvard, or by an outside group.

The page’s moderator agreed to be interviewed, but asked to remain anonymous. A follow-up request by the Globe went unanswered.

An article on the white supremacist website “The Daily Stormer” promoted the White Student Union at Harvard University.

‘We are closely monitoring the situation.’

Rachael Dane, Harvard University spokeswoman 
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It included images of fliers bearing the group’s name that have reportedly been posted on message boards on the school’s campus.

Similar images were shared on the “white student union” Facebook page.

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.
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