University of Oklahoma Frat Closed Over Racist Chant

Video appears to show people in formal wear, on bus, chanting
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2015 6:34 AM CDT
Updated Mar 9, 2015 7:59 AM CDT
University of Oklahoma Frat Closed Over Racist Chant
A Sigma Alpha Epsilon house (not at OU) is shown.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Sigma Alpha Epsilon's creed is "The True Gentleman." The University of Oklahoma's chapter of the fraternity has now been closed after its members were allegedly caught being the very opposite. A nine-second video rife with racist slurs—including a reference to lynching and students chanting "There will never be a [slur] in SAE" while clapping—surfaced yesterday. It was brought to light by the school's student newspaper, the Oklahoma Daily, which reports it got an anonymous email tip about it last night. Condemnation came swiftly: OU President David Boren tweeted, "This behavior is ... contrary to all of our values." SAE's national headquarters had this to say: "We are disgusted that any member would act in such a way."

National SAE President Brad Cohen noted in a statement, "When we learned about this incident, we determined with no mental reservation whatsoever that this chapter needed to be closed immediately." The video was taken on a bus, and those filmed are wearing tuxedos and formal dresses; one man is pumping his fist in the air. The New York Times reports that a student minority group called the Unheard Movement posted the video to YouTube; it did not reveal how it got it or when it was filmed. The university is investigating. NBC News reports police were posted at the frat house last night; still, the building appeared to have been tagged with graffiti reading something like "Tear it down." The Times notes SAE's 15,000 members nationally make it one of America's largest fraternities. It's also been dubbed the "deadliest," and got in trouble at UConn last year over "bacon hazing." (Read more fraternity stories.)

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