Many of us know at least one person who is in or was part of a fraternity. Fraternities and sororities are a big part of college, and many students participate in these organizations. A majority of Greek members embrace and live by the principles and morals of their chapter, but not all. Recently, fraternity members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at Oklahoma University were caught on film repeatedly chanting racial slurs specific to their fraternity. The University and Sigma Alpha Epsilon Nationals are extremely outraged, and taking this matter very seriously. These boys are facing severe punishment.
The video went viral on Sunday, March 8th, after being posted on Twitter, which tagged the university’s president, David Boren. Boren responded stating that the video will be investigated, and immediately, and cut ties between the University of Oklahoma and its Kappa chapter of the national Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
SAE Nationals has also expressed its disgust on the national website, taking action against the fraternity and the brothers in the video:
“Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national headquarters has closed its Oklahoma Kappa chapter at the University of Oklahoma following the discovery of an inappropriate video. In addition, all of the members have been suspended, and those members who are responsible for the incident may have their membership privileges revoked permanently.
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 type of racist behavior will not be tolerated and is not consistent with the values and morals of our fraternity. We have more than 15,000 collegiate members across the nation, and this incident should not reflect on other brothers because this type of hateful action is not what Sigma Alpha Epsilon stands for. This is absolutely not who we are.” *
The university and its students have also responded, and are completely outraged. According to Boren, the university is looking into a series of punishments, including the possibility of expulsion. Boren also ordered that the fraternity’s on-campus house be closed, forcing all members currently living in the house to move out and find new housing. The fraternity’s national president, Brad Cohen, said, “I was not only shocked and disappointed, but disgusted by the outright display of racism displayed in the video.” Further investigation is still pending.
The mission of Sigma Alpha Epsilon is to promote the highest standards of friendship, scholarship and service for their members, and to mold them into gentlemen who set an example in today’s society. This is not the case for the brothers of SAE at OU. These young men victimized a group of people, embarrassed their classmates and university, and smeared the reputations of their brothers across the country. Now they have to face the consequences.