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University Of Oklahoma Will Use Shuttered Fraternity House For Human Relations Center

Sigma Alpha Epsilon's house, which was taken from them after members were caught singing a racist chant, will be used by a university organization that "promotes understanding and cooperation among those of different racial, ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds."

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The University of Oklahoma announced Wednesday that it would use the former house of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity (SAE) — which was shuttered in March after its members were caught on video singing a racist chant — for a social justice and human relations organization.

In a statement provided to BuzzFeed News, the university said its Southwest Center for Human Rights and the Disability Testing Center would use the building that once belonged to SAE.

OU's President David Boren severed all ties between the university and SAE and asked all its members to leave the house in the immediate aftermath of the video showing SAE brothers chanting racial slurs with references to lynching. The SAE letters were also removed from the fraternity's facade.

The Southwest Center for Human Rights Studies, which will move into SAE's former house, is a university-based human relations and social justice organization that "promotes understanding and cooperation among those of different racial, ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds."

In its statement, OU said it will be a few months before any units move in to the building as appropriate preparations were being made to it.

It also plans to use the house for temporary office space for the College of Arts and Sciences and other colleges when there are ongoing renovation and construction projects.

Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at tasneem.nashrulla@buzzfeed.com.

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