University Of Oklahoma Expels Two Students Who Led Racist Fraternity Chants
On Monday, President David Boren announced that the University of Oklahoma expelled two students leading racist chants in a video recorded at the school's fraternity chapter. Boren said that the two played a leadership role in creating a hostile learning environment for others.
Denouncing their behavior in a press statement, Boren added that the school was still trying to identify others involved in the incident.
I have emphasized that there is zero tolerance for this kind of threatening racist behavior at the University of Oklahoma. I hope that the entire nation will join us in having zero tolerance of such racism when it raises its ugly head in other situations across our country. ... I hope that students involved in this incident will learn from this experience and realize that it is wrong to use words to hurt, threaten, and exclude other people. We will continue our investigation of all the students engaged in the singing of this chant. Once their identities have been confirmed, they will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
Boren's letter also said that the two students, who remained unnamed, were notified that they had the right to contact the school's Equal Opportunity Officer by Friday should they wish to contest the decision.
Posted online Sunday by Unheard, a black student group on campus that was launched in response to the Ferguson shooting, the video generated a national wave of outrage, prompting the university to sever ties with the fraternity. Filmed on a bus, members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity were seen chanting racial slurs against blacks and indicating that blacks would never be admitted to its OU chapter, on top of making references to lynching:
There will never be a ni**** SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me.
SAE's national president Brad Cohen said in a statement responding to the video:
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.
Boren told reporters at a press conference on Monday that SAE is permanently done at the University of Oklahoma, adding that the culture of racism permeating many fraternities needed to be "snuffed out."