Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Stone Center Statement on KA Incident

April 14th, 2016

Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies takes seriously its commitment to inclusion – in research, education and society. The Stone Center boasts a diverse group of scholars and students that share an interest in Latin America, while representing a wide diversity of nationalities, ethnicities, disciplinary focuses and viewpoints. A central tenet of the Stone Center’s mission is to “educate the university community about the multicultural and multi-faceted importance of Latin America and make this importance felt in the community at large.” Over the past weekend, the Kappa Alpha (KA) Order fraternity chapter at Tulane University built a wall around their fraternity house marked with political references considered by many to reinforce xenophobia and intolerance. While the Stone Center values a diversity of opinions, we feel obligated to declare that the views suggested by the actions of this Tulane-affiliated student group are antithetical to those of the Stone Center. Such attitudes challenge the welcoming and collaborative relationship the Stone Center has worked to cultivate with Latin Americans and Latinxs on the university campus, with our valued community partners, and with the visitors, friends and colleagues invited to enrich our intellectual, social, and cultural environment. The Stone Center thus takes this opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to a collaborative, inclusive, and equitable environment for our students and faculty and, most importantly, to our Latin American and Latinx students, faculty, community partners, colleagues, and friends by condemning the views expressed through the ill-considered activity of the KA fraternity chapter referenced above. We believe the campus experience should include engagement with contemporary politics and differing ideologies; but bias, discrimination and prejudice of any sort, including espousal of popular rhetoric that implicitly upholds intolerance and conveys exclusion, has no place at Tulane University. The Stone Center joins Tulane University in its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.