The University of Oklahoma has officially severed all ties with its Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity chapter over a video that surfaced over the weekend that showed fraternity members chanting racist slurs on a charter bus.
David Boren, the President of the University of Oklahoma, has given the suspended SAE fraternity members until midnight tomorrow to move out of their fraternity house.
In the video, Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members dressed in formalwear chanted racist epithets as they rode on a charter bus. The racist chants included, “There will never be a n----r at SAE.”
The video quickly spread across the Internet soon after it surfaced, drawing widespread condemnation from the public towards the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter.
National Sigma Alpha Epsilon Organization Releases Statement; Closes Chapter and Suspends Members
On Sunday night, the national SAE organization posted its own statement expressing disgust for the video and condemning the members who were took place in the racist chants. The national Sigma Alpha Epsilon organization closed the UO chapter and suspended its members. “Equally unacceptable is bystander behavior of members who fail to intervene when they witness conduct that deviates from our beliefs,” the statement added.
Brad Cohen, the national president of the fraternity was quoted as stating, “I was not only shocked and disappointed but disgusted by the outright display of racism displayed in the video. SAE is a diverse organization, and we have zero tolerance for racism or any bad behavior...We determined with no mental reservation whatsoever that this chapter needed to be closed immediately.”
The national SAE organization originally ended its statement with the hope that they may “re-establish the Oklahoma Kappa chapter at some point in the future with a group of men who exemplify our beliefs and who serve as leaders on campus and in the community.”
The ending sentence to the national SAE organization’s statement was later omitted today. In its place is this statement: “We respect the decision of the University of Oklahoma President to ban the fraternity from campus and are sickened that our former chapter members involved in this incident have outraged the campus population and community.”
The President of the University of Oklahoma Goes to Twitter to Condemn SAE; SAE Loses Fraternity House
This morning, David Boren, the President of the University of Oklahoma posted a scathing statement on Twitter:
“To those who have misused their free speech in such a reprehensible way, I have a message for you. You are disgraceful. You have violated all that we stand for. You should not have the privilege of calling yourselves "Sooners." Real Sooners are not racist. Real Sooners are not bigots. Real Sooners believe in equal opportunity. Real Sooners treat all people with respect. Real Sooners love each other and take care of each other like family members.
Effective immediately, all ties and affiliations between this University and the local SAE chapter are hereby severed. I direct that the house be closed and that members will remove their personal belongings from the house by midnight tomorrow. Those needing to make special arrangements for positions shall contact the Dean of Students.
All of us will redouble our efforts to create the strongest sense of family and community. We vow that we will be an example to the entire country of how to deal with this issue. There must be zero tolerance for racism everywhere in our nation.
David L. Boren
University of Oklahoma”
As Boren stated, the suspended fraternity members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon no longer have a fraternity house and will have to move out their possessions by midnight tomorrow.
White House Responds to the SAE Racist Video
During Monday’s press briefing, the White House responded to the racist video by praising David Boren for his actions condemning Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
The Racist SAE Video
A clip from the video can be seen by clicking on this link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG-wq6SJqjU