University Of Oklahoma Cuts Ties With Fraternity After Racist Video Surfaces

The university’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter was shut down Sunday after a video spread on social media allegedly showing fraternity members chanting racist slurs. Update: The university’s president announced all ties between OU and the SAE chapter were severed.

The University of Oklahoma chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon was shut down Sunday by the national organization after a video surfaced that allegedly showed members of the fraternity chanting racist slurs and referencing lynching.

The video posted Sunday appears to show people on a bus clapping and chanting “there will never be a n***** SAE / You can hang them from a tree / But they’ll never sign with me.”

Oklahoma City’s NBC-affiliated KFOR TV reported that the clip was filmed Saturday on what appears to be a bus allegedly headed to a date party for the fraternity founder’s day. Members of sorority Delta Delta Delta were also invited to the party, and its national organization said Monday it was cooperating with the university.

The president of the University of Oklahoma tweeted, “this behavior will not be tolerated” and said the school is investigating the video and whether those in it are students.

Dozens of students attended a peaceful protest against the video at the university on Monday morning.

BREAKING: 40+ students all in black have already gathered at #OU campus to protest racist #SAE frat video PHOTO:

— Rusty Surette (@rustysurette)

Addressing students at the protest, Boren announced all ties between OU and the SAE chapter would be severed and that the fraternity members would have to leave the house by midnight tomorrow.

Updated statement attached - DBo

— David Boren (@President_Boren)

OU Facilities Management is taking the letters off of the SAE house @OUDaily

— Daisy (@daisycreager)

The head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners football team, Bob Stoops, also attended the protest.

Bob Stoops stands with his players at OU South Oval demonstration. #Sooners

— Guerin Emig (@GuerinEmig)

#OklahomaStrong @UofOklahoma

— Bijan Hosseini (@BijanHosseini)

Isaac Hill, Black Student Association president, said he forgives those in the video. @OUDaily

— Andrew Clark (@Clarky_Tweets)

Right now: Rally on University of Oklahoma's campus after SAE's racist chant posted. photo via @OU_Unheard @10News

— Natasha Zouves (@10newsnatasha)

Students writing their feelings and opinions on racism at OU to the door of Student Affairs

— Aimee Schnay (@AimeeSchnay)

The national fraternity organization said the local chapter was closed and all members suspended as soon as the video was discovered.

While we correct our server issues, here's our statement.

— Sigma Alpha Epsilon (@sae1856)

The president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon also tweeted, “Zero tolerance for bad behavior.”

Our deed follows our word... Zero tolerance for bad behavior http://t.co/05GGfRjYoX

— Brad Cohen (@SAE_ESA_brad)

He said that those involved in the video “will be dealt with.”

I know I speak for all when I say I'm disgusted and shocked by the video involving our @sae1856 chapter at Uof OK. They will be dealt with.

— Brad Cohen (@SAE_ESA_brad)

He also said that while the fraternity had expelled those involved in the video, he hoped the university would also expel them.

@koconews it means they can't operate. But we have now closed the chapter and will expel all those involved. I hope univ expels students?

— Brad Cohen (@SAE_ESA_brad)

Sorority Delta Delta Delta’s national leadership also said Monday it was cooperating with the university to determine if any Tri Delt students were involved.


We are deeply disappointed by the conduct of the students involved in the incident at The University of Oklahoma. Tri Delta expects its members to uphold the highest responsibilities of college women. The behavior documented in the video is deplorable and is in no way consistent with Tri Delta’s ideals and core values. We are cooperating fully with our partners at the university as they investigate this matter.

The video, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, started to spread on Twitter Sunday night after @OU_Unheard, a Twitter account that says it represents “an alliance of Black students organized for change” at the university, tweeted it.

— Unheard (@OU_Unheard)

Executive producer at CBS affiliate KWTV-TV in Oklahoma City Rusty Surette tweeted that members of the fraternity were asked to leave the house with their personal belongings:

Breaking: @HeatherHopeTV reports #OU #SAE members are at frat house to collect personal belongings. #SAEHatesMe

— Rusty Surette (@rustysurette)

Surette reported that police were on the scene for “safety concerns.”

Breaking: Norman & #OU police at #SAE frat house for "safety concerns" due to viral video. #SAEHatesMe

— Rusty Surette (@rustysurette)

He later tweeted the following picture of the fraternity vandalized:

BREAKING: "TEAR IT DOWN" spray painted on #OU #SAE frat house after racist video surfaces #SAEHatesMe

— Rusty Surette (@rustysurette)

update

A high school football star, Jean Delance, de-committed from the university on Monday after hearing about the video. Delance said he spoke with coach Bob Stoops on Sunday, but was not told about the video.

“I am very disappointed in the coaches not letting me know,” he told KRDL-AM television. “But that was just heart-breaking right there.”

Meanwhile, the Oklahoma football team decided to protest rather than practice on Monday. The players, coach and athletic director walked arm-in-arm, wearing black.

Nick Oxford / AP

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Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.
Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at michelle@buzzfeed.com.
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at tasneem.nashrulla@buzzfeed.com.