After backlash on social media, the new student organization Committee of Progressive Students was denied residency at the former fraternity house of Kappa Alpha Order. Committee of Progressive Students was denied due to social media interactions with the fraternity, and will be taking legal action to fight what they view as discrimination based on political ideology.
The house in question, located at 602 Academy St. has been vacant since last year when a party thrown by KA resulted in the death of 20-year-old Texas State student, Jordin Taylor.
Committee of Progressive Students, led by Rudy Martinez, Committee of Progressive Students co-founder and philosophy senior, and John Schuster, Committee of Progressive Students co-founder and applied sociology junior, hoped to fill the house with students, artists and workers from the San Marcos area.
The move was expected to be challenging from the beginning, as the house was left with significant damages after the previous tenants vacated.
“The house is destroyed,” Schuster said. “There are walls kicked in, there’s an endless amount of garbage, there are doors knocked down. In one of the rooms, I was shocked when I walked in, I almost had no words. There was a thick rope hanging from the ceiling and it was tied in a knot at the bottom with a hole about the size of someone’s neck.”
Martinez said the condition of the house was shocking and was alarmed at some of the items left behind.
“It was a noose,” Martinez said. “There are Confederate flags painted above some of the rooms. I would go so far as to say that these people are neanderthals and they were living like neanderthals.”
The organization planned to host a series of community work days to repair the damages to the house. Committee of Progressive Students organized the event through Facebook, which has been deleted. Schuster and Martinez saw their occupancy of the house as a refutation of fraternity culture.
“I feel like now more than ever we have to fight back against white supremacy on a daily basis,” Martinez said. “That can be small steps like taking over this house and having people walk by it and know that it’s not inhabited by a bunch of perpetrators of a racist, misogynistic, rape-culture ideology.”
The refutation was met with criticism from KA supporters, who reached out via email, text and social media to harass and condemn the soon-to-be tenants, stating that the history of the house could not be erased.
The landlord, when threatened with legal action, told Committee of Progressive Students to “Bring it on.” The landlord declined to comment on the house’s current condition.
When asked about the state of the house and the response from KA supporters, Kappa Alpha Order distanced themselves from any conflict taking place.