On Saturday Sept. 14, 2013, the LSU football team played Kent State in its third game of the season, but LSu made headlines for more than what happened in Tiger Stadium that day due to a sign that hung above the door of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity house.
The sign read “Getting massacred is nothing new to Kent State,” and the LSU Police Department asked the fraternity to take the sign down after receiving a complaint about the banner.
The sign was replaced the next day by one that said “We would like to apologize to Kent State for our inappropriate sign.”
However, the incident had already attracted the attention of newspapers, websites and TV stations.
The Advocate reported that the Kent State sign was not the first offensive banner hung by the fraternity, and the WBRZ also picked up the story, reporting there was possibility of punishment for the sign.
The website Total Frat Move published a story asking why no one in the fraternity had considered the offensiveness of the sign and stopped it from being hung.
The Advocate reported that LSU President F. King. ALexander said the sign was poor judgement and bad taste.
“If its a pattern, we’ve really got to do some education so that they are much more sensitive to the issues of the day,” Alexander said.
DKE members released an apology stating they “hope that the Kent State community can forgive our action and accept our sincere apologies. We apologize not only to the community of Kent State, but also to those who were personally affected by this tragedy in American history.”
The University also issued a public apology, and worked with the fraternity’s local and national leaders to determine the best course of action after the incident. In the weeks following the incident Student Government debated passing a resolution that would ask DKE to stop putting up signs that reflect the students and the University poorly.
On Oct. 2, Spencer Crane, the chapter president of DKE, spoke at a Student Government meeting. He accepted full responsibility for the sign, apologized on behalf of the fraternity and said if he had the opportunity to do it over, the sign would never have been hung..
The Alumni Association of the Zeta Zeta Chapter of DKE issued a statement including that it was working with the University to safeguard against anything like what happened the weekend LSU played Kent State from repeating.