Another development at Tulane comes as a pleasant surprise. According to another source close to the house, Tulane administration and the local IFC have been very supportive of KA through the entire ordeal, from assisting with PR to hiring armed security to stand at the KA house all week. In the face of many recent events when fraternities are cut down, shut down, and run out of town, it’s refreshing to see a school taking a practical and sensical approach to a case of hurt feelings.
The VP of Student Affairs sent out the following email Wednesday morning:
“Dear Tulane Community,
Many members of the university community have expressed concern over the words “Trump” and “Make America Great Again” that appeared on a wall of sandbags at the off campus chapter of the Tulane Kappa Alpha Order (KA) on Thursday, April 7.
Tulane encourages and supports the free exchange of ideas and opinions including any expression of support for or opposition to political candidates. We also understand that while members of KA said they intended the words as satire, it sparked a visceral reaction in the context of a very heated and divisive political season.
The Division of Student affairs is working with students and community members in a comprehensive approach to addressing these issues. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority programs is working with the KA chapter leadership, members and national headquarters. The Office of Multicultural Affairs is working with various multicultural groups and students who feel impacted by this incident.
Furthermore, the Office of Student conduct is reviewing the various reports submitted through the http://tulane.edu/concerns website and are gathering additional information in order to follow up on these reports.
As an institution of higher education and learning, we are committed to exploring ways to facilitate learning opportunities from the incident. We remain committed to our values of free speech and inclusion in a learning environment that thrives on the expression of multiple perspectives and viewpoints. Simultaneously we remain committed to support all our students in alleviating anything that detracts from the educational environment.
Dr. Dusty Porter
Vice President of Student Affairs
The email hits on a point that many who have followed this story also have brought up: Satire or not, these guys still have a right to express their support for a political candidate. Consequently, others have the right to oppose that same candidate. It gets ugly when opposition turns to hatred and the hatred involves slander.
Tulane did a great job of listening to all sides, putting aside the heated feelings sparked by the incident, and using good common sense to move forward. Cheers to you, Tulane..
Image via Twitter@TulaneKA