Madison, Wis. (AP) - A University of Wisconsin student trying to form a pro-white group has abandoned his efforts after intense backlash from other students and university officials.
American Freedom Party National Chairman William Johnson confirmed Monday that Daniel Dropik is no longer forming a Madison chapter after an Associated Press reporter noticed the group's website had been made private. The American Freedom Party has deep ties to white supremacism.
Johnson says Dropik also plans to take a break from his coursework under an arrangement he hopes to make with the university. Neither Dropik nor a university spokeswoman immediately responded to requests for comment. Dropik served time in federal prison for setting fire to predominantly black churches in Wisconsin and Michigan a decade ago.
UW-Madison Student Activities Center Governing Board Chair Katrina Morrison says Dropik's actions provide some relief for anxious students of color.
"I hope this student abandoned for the right reasons and we don't see a reemergence of this group on campus," Morrison says.
Dropik used both campus flyers and social media to recruit potential chapter members, with at least a dozen students expressing interest.