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Latino group says fraternity chanted 'build the wall' at them while they marched in parade

By Nick Glunt • Oct 3, 2016 at 2:00 PM

A Latino student group at Kent State University says members of a fraternity shouted “build the wall” at them as they marched in the homecoming parade on Saturday.

The Spanish and Latino Student Association, also known as SALSA, took to Facebook following the event to condemn the unidentified fraternity’s chants, which echoed the anti-immigration policies of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Trump’s calls to build a wall on the American-Mexican border to reduce illegal immigration have been called extreme and racist by opponents. Trump last year also alleged Mexican immigrants are “in many cases criminals, drug dealers, rapists” and promised mass deportations of undocumented immigrants. In recent months, he has seemingly backed away from those statements.

SALSA’s leadership denounced anti-Latino rhetoric in the Facebook post, though they never mentioned Trump by name.

“We are upset that our organization was being rejected at such a welcoming and prideful event,” they wrote. “We are proud of our heritage, ethnicities and all of our backgrounds.”

In a Twitter post, Kent State President Beverly Warren said she was personally aware of the issue. She said she was sorry to hear it happened and told the group she’d ask one of the vice presidents to look into it.

Rachel Mason, SALSA’s president, said the group is scheduled to meet with university administration on Tuesday afternoon to talk about the incident. She declined to say more until the meeting is complete.

Eric Mansfield, a university spokesman, confirmed Kent State is investigating the issue.

“We’re aware of the issue and we’re beginning to look into it,” he said. ?Mansfield said the administration intends to figure out who was chanting and what can be done to calm tensions.

Nick Glunt can be reached at 330-996-3565 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @NickGluntABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ngfalcon.

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©2016 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

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