SALSA holds meeting following discriminatory chants


The Kent State Spanish and Latino Student Association (SALSA) holds flags representing different countries at the Homecoming parade on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016.

SALSA holds meeting to discuss discriminatory chants from on Vimeo.

After the Spanish and Latino Student Association faced alleged discriminatory chants during Saturday’s Homecoming parade, a meeting with SALSA members and the Division of Student Affairs took place on Tuesday to further discuss the matter.

The chants, according to an Oct. 2 KentWired article, were said to have referred to the phrase, “build that wall,” one that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump used in his platform.

Amanda Michalak, a senior political science major and head of SALSA’s public relations, believes the chants came from students in the Sigma Chi fraternity, according to a claim she made on her personal Facebook profile.

In response to Michalak, Sigma Chi president Samuel White apologized, but is firm on saying that the remarks did not come from his fraternity.

Kulics said the meeting, which took place with SALSA members and Jennifer Kulics, associate vice president of the Division of Student Affairs, was positive.

“The SALSA leadership, and the whole organization … has taken the high road,” Kulics said. “They are looking at how to unify their organization and they really are trying to find ways with the administration to find a safe space for us to have continued dialogue.”

During the meeting, university administration opened the floor to SALSA members to allow them to voice their concerns.

“This meeting was about them,” Kulics said. “We were able to share with them what the process is for the Office of Student Conduct, for the Code of Student Conduct.”

Kulics said they also shared with them the processes that are in place within the fraternity and sorority life programming and how the communities move forward when situations like this occur.

SALSA was also invited by university administration to participate in Kent Talks on Oct. 27.  

Rachel Mason, president of SALSA, spoke at the meeting. She said that she was eventually expecting some sort of racial aggression due to Trump’s controversial platform, but this caught her off guard.

“The Homecoming parade is a celebration of all things of Kent State, and the Latino and Hispanic community is one of those things,” she said. “A lot of our members view Kent State as a place where they feel safe. That’s what makes it so hurtful.”

Dennis Campbell, assistant director for fraternity and sorority life; Dasha Harris, coordinator for fraternity and sorority life; and Oscar Ramos, director of the Student Multicultural Center, also attended.

SALSA will paint the Rock on the front of the main campus on Thursday as a reaction to the chants. Mason said a peaceful demonstration celebrating diversity and safety will follow.

Mason added that she is looking forward to starting the process of moving forward.

“All of us are looking forward to seeing what is the best way we can continue to handle this,” she said. “We are united.”

Cameron Gorman is a diversity reporter, contact her at [email protected]

Emma Keating is an arts and sciences reporter, contact her at [email protected]

McKenna Corson is an internationals/grad affairs reporter, contact her at [email protected]