Auburn University Honors College faces backlash after White Student Union event

Auburn University Honors College faces backlash after White Student Union event
(Source: Auburn University)

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Auburn University's Honors College is facing backlash after inviting the president of the Auburn White Student Union to speak before a film screening event.

The White Student University president is an Auburn student who typically operates under the moniker "Wyatt Mann" who refuses to release his identity by not showing his face or not appearing in public.

The Honors College was hosting a screening of a documentary discussing white nationalism and white supremacy.

The event was intended to foster a discussion about the origins of white supremacist and nationalist ideology, it was not, however, received as well as anticipated.

A letter, signed by more than sixty faculty, staff and students, was sent to the university president and provost stating that the college's actions were akin to "sponsoring a hate group."

Auburn University has now released an official statement on the matter. It reads:

Auburn University is committed to creating an inclusive campus environment where all students are welcome and encouraged to engage and thrive. We promote academic freedom and the open exchange of ideas as essential elements of a vibrant university. As a research institution, robust exchanges within the marketplace of ideas should be fueled by critical thinking and tempered with respect for the individual and for diverse views. Often at Auburn, our values of free speech and the divisiveness of dissenting perspectives are in conflict. The result of this conflict can sometimes create an unwelcoming environment for members of the Auburn Family.

The Honors College has previously held introductions documentary screenings with a former meth user and Auburn's Spectrum LGBT+ group about addiction to hard drugs and transgenderism, respectively. Future events include a screening of a documentary surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement.

Copyright 2018 WTVM. All rights reserved. | For more news, download the WTVM app here.