How Other Frats' Racist Parties Were Punished

by Lauren Holter

The video of the University of Oklahoma Sigma Alpha Epsilon brothers' racist chant has created national outrage — but, surprise, surprise, it's not the first fraternity to be overwhelmingly offensive. Greek chapters across the country have repeatedly boasted racist and sexist themes, encouraging students to dress up in offensive costumes and play out harsh stereotypes. The difference with the Oklahoma University incident is the harsh punishment doled out.

The University of Oklahoma's black student alliance, Unheard, posted the 10-second video on Twitter Sunday, tagging the university's president, David Boren. The brothers of SAE were kicked out of their on-campus house after the national SAE organization saw the video and Boren also asked the frat to move out of the house Monday morning. The national SAE released a statement suspending all members of their OU chapter and completely removing the students in the video from the frat.

Boren completely cut the university's ties with the local SAE chapter, although he has not announced any further action taken against the individual students. Removing the frat from the campus entirely is a much harsher punishment than other fraternities and sororities have received for previous racist actions. Because the chant was caught on video, no one can deny what happened and there's no ambiguity about the level of offensiveness.

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Arizona State University


In January 2014, the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Arizona State University threw a party for Martin Luther King's birthday at which party-goers dressed in basketball jerseys, flashed gang signs, and drank from hollowed-out watermelons. Students posted pictures to Instagram with hashtags #MLKblackout, #IHaveaDream, and #hood. The frat was suspended, but not kicked off campus.

Randolph-Macon College

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The Kappa Alpha fraternity at Randolph-Macon University in Virginia threw a "USA v. Mexico" party in 2013, encouraging students to dress as "illegal Mexicans," wearing fake mustaches and sombreros, and border control officers. The party allegedly included a drinking game that involved guests playing Americans trying to catch the "illegal immigrants." The university's administration reportedly "held the individuals and groups involved responsible," but it's unclear if any real punishment came to fruition.

Duke University

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A Duke University fraternity, Kappa Sigma, was temporarily suspended in 2013 for hosting a racist Asian-themed party. An invitation to the party said, "We look forward to having Mi, Yu, You and Yo Friends over for some Sake. Chank You." First named "Asia Prime," the party's name was changed to "International Relations," but students still came dressed as in silk robes, sumo wrestler costumes, and chopsticks in their hair, donning offensive Asian accents.


In 2013, Dartmouth's Alpha Delta fraternity and Tri-Delta sorority came together to throw a racist "Bloods and Crips" party. Students reportedly dressed as gang members and used racialized language all night. The university's statement condemned the party theme and promised to investigate whether any university policies were violated, but it doesn't specify any repercussions for the frat and sorority members.

Images: University of Oklahoma/Facebook; Getty Images (3); Dartmouth/Facebook