National Greek leaders canceled several events scheduled for the upcoming Greek Week at Ohio University after learning students involved in the school’s Greek life were responsible for a pro-Trump graffiti message on a free speech wall.
The students, who have not been identified, spray-painted the wall with the messages “Build the Wall” and “Trump 2016.”
The phrase has been part of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s campaign to construct a wall on the southwestern border to prevent immigrants from Central and South American countries from entering the U.S. illegally.
In a letter addressed to the “OU Sorority and Fraternity Life community and supporters,” several national Greek organizations condemned the graffiti as “hurtful and offensive,” campus newspaper The Post reported.
“This phrase is offensive and hurtful to many individuals as it is directly tied to the Hispanic/Latino/a community, makes them feel marginalized, and the message was interpreted that they do not belong at Ohio University,” the letter stated.
The letter does not identify the students behind the graffiti, nor which Greek organization they are affiliated with.
However, the letter stated that the individuals would not face sanctions, and were within their rights to free speech, according to The Post.
Nonetheless, the Greek leaders announced that several events scheduled for the April 11-18 Greek Week at OU would be canceled, and alcohol would not be allowed during Greek Week.
The national leaders insisted that the changes were not meant to be a punishment.
“In making these changes, we understand that there are many who will feel that this is a punishment,” the governing councils stated in their letter, according to The Post. “We acknowledge that some teams have made efforts to be inclusive, but as a collective it is our responsibility to hold each other accountable with the ultimate goal of unifying the community.”
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