A fraternity at Cornell University is under scrutiny after one of its members allegedly chanted “build a wall” near a Latino Living Center (LLC) on campus last week.
The event, described in a recent Facebook post by Cornell University’s La Asociación Latina (LAL), the umbrella organization for a majority of Latino groups at Cornell, has stirred much controversy on the Ithaca campus.
According to the Facebook post, a fraternity member from Zeta Psi house was heard shouting “build a wall, build a wall” at 12:30 a.m. When the resident from the LLC was asked to elucidate what specifically was shouted, the anonymous resident states he/she heard the frat member shout “Let’s build a wall around the LLC.” The post states the words heard were “unmistakeable,” due to how close the fraternity house is to the LLC.
The LAL believes this incident could correlate around President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program and now has demands for Zeta Psi as well as the Cornell administration.
These demands include a formal apology with signatures from the entire executive board of the fraternity, sanctions to be placed against the offending fraternity, mandatory diversity training for Zeta Psi, and a formal acknowledgment from the Cornell administration stating “that this is absolutely not an isolated incident, but a cyclical one that continues to occur.”
The LAL even goes as far as placing a demand on all Greek social clubs on the entire Ithaca campus. The LAL demands that all “Greek life organizations recognize that this is not an individual fraternity problem, but an issue deeply ingrained within the current culture, and take active steps to ameliorate that.”
Evidently, any student on the Ivy League campus who decides to chant “build a wall” or presumably use any Trumptonian nomenclature is being insincere to Latinx students on Cornell’s campus according to the LAL.
The group expresses that this form of jocularity in modern-day political culture is inappropriate. They also lament that although Cornell often makes attempts to aid “students of marginalized communities and backgrounds,” the institution, unfortunately, cannot state that they support these specific students.
“These communities, time and time again, have come up against an innumerable amount of acts rooted in bigotry and discrimination,” LAL adds in their post.
Although the group states that this incidence “will not be the last of its kind,” they will still “stand to aid and protect marginalized students.” The LAL also reassures students that safe spaces will be provided to any students that were “adversely affected” by the recent DACA reversal.
Zeta Psi National has apologized to the LLC but the prosecution of the local fraternity is still underway at Cornell.