A wall of sandbags which lined up in the front yard of a Tulane University fraternity house caused a major stir this week after the words “Trump” and “Make America Great Again” were written on the bags.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Wednesday that the Kappa Alpha Order erects a wall around its private property during the week leading up to its formal. University spokesman Mike Strecker told the paper that members of the fraternity used Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s slogans as satire.
The wall, built April 7, was torn down by members of the football team, Fox Sports reported. Tulane’s Latino student union also called the Kappa Alpha tradition “a source of aggression towards students of color on this campus.”
Jesse Lyons, the national fraternity’s assistant executive director, told The Times-Picayune in a statement that the words written on the sandbags weren’t intended to cause offense to anyone on campus.
“Our chapter takes KA's values of gentlemanly conduct very seriously. This respect extends to every student of Tulane and every member of the broader community,” the statement said. “The comment was written on a makeshift wall on our private property, normally used for a game of capture the flag, to mock the ideologies of a political candidate.”
Tulane University said in a statement that it “encourages and supports the free exchange of ideas and opinions,” but the fraternity’s actions “sparked a visceral reaction in the context of a very heated and divisive political season.”
Dusty Porter, the university’s vice president of student affairs, told the paper Tulane’s Greek life officials are working with both the local and national chapters to address the incident.
Tulane’s Office and Multicultural Affairs is working with “various multicultural groups and students who feel impacted” by the incident, Porter said.