The posting of the video to the Internet by a black student group at Oklahoma University depicting members of the SAE fraternity on Sunday has caused an uproar across the nation.
On Monday, the president of the University of Oklahoma, David Boren, joined a pre-dawn crowd gathered to protest the actions of the fraternity. Boren said at the rally, that quick discipline will be carried out and that the fraternity members of the school’s chapter had until Tuesday night at midnight to vacate the fraternity house on campus. Boren said that the fraternity will not be allowed on campus as long as he serves as university president.
In a statement this morning, Boren said that ties between the university and the fraternity have been severed and said, “To those who have misused their free speech in such a reprehensible way, I have a message for you. You are disgraceful,” Boren’s statement read. “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.
Boren also added that the university does not have any plans to help the displaced fraternity members find new housing and also added that the university’s legal team is looking into expulsion of members from the university as further punishment.
National officials of the 15,000 member Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity also commented on the video, saying that they were embarrassed by the unacceptable racist chant. The frat brothers on the video sang “There will never be a n****r SAE” that was sang to the tune of “If your happy and you know it clap your hands.” The video also recorded members of the fraternity saying that blacks could be hanged from trees.
The national organization say that they have closed the frat house in Oklahoma and has suspended all of the fraternity’s members and also stated that members in the fraternity that were directly involved could have their membership pewrmanently revoked. In an online statement, the national fraternity said, “We apologize for the unacceptable and racist behavior of the individuals in the video, and we are disgusted that any member would act in such a way. Furthermore, we are embarrassed by this video and offer our empathy not only to anyone outside the organization who is offended but also to our brothers who come from a wide range of backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities.”
This latest in Oklahoma is only the most recent in a string of racially offensive issues with the SAE fraternity. In December, the Clemson chapter of SAE organized a gang-themed party for the holidays named “Cripmas.” The holiday party coincided with the protests taking place in Fergusen.
At the Washington University in St Louis in 2013, the local fraternity there ordered their pledges to rap to black students using offensive lyrics during a scavenger hunt.
At the University of Arizona, SAE fraternity members attacked members of the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi.Dozens of SAE brothers busted into the frat house of AEP and amid racial slurs punched and beat members of that fraternity organization.
Oklahoma University is a state school with a student population of 30,000 students, of which 2/3 are white.