SAE national president is not happy with OU’s President Boren
NORMAN, Okla. – The Sigma Alpha Epsilon national president is not happy with the University of Oklahoma’s President David Boren.
Earlier this month, a video that was recorded on a bus to a fraternity party was uploaded to YouTube.
The chant goes on to say, “you can hang them from a tree, but they’ll never sign with me.”
The SAE fraternity house was shut down immediately and two of the members, Levi Pettit and Parker Rice, were expelled from the university.
He said the investigation revealed that the chant was taught to OU’s members on a national leadership cruise sponsored by the national organization of Sigma Alpha Epsilon four years ago.
After that, the chant was brought back to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Oklahoma.
Over time, officials say the chant was formalized in the OU chapter and was taught to pledges as part of the formal and informal pledgeship process.
“It is clear that during the four years since the chant was brought to the University campus, its’ existence was known by recent members and that it became part of the institutionalized culture of the chapter,” the investigate report read.
Boren also wrote a letter to Blaine Ayers, the executive director of the national SAE organization, informing him about the findings of OU’s investigation.
“The matter cannot be closed in our view, however, until the culture at the national level has also been addressed,” the letter read.
Boren asked if SAE is attempting to determine the extent to which the chant is being taught to other chapters and if any steps have been taken to remedy the situation.
After Boren’s press conference, SAE national president Brad Cohen posted a Facebook status criticizing comments Boren made during the press conference, according to the OU Daily.
In Cohen’s Facebook post, he says there is a difference between learning a racist chant and hearing a racist chant.
Cohen says Boren’s comments during the press conference were “inflammatory and self serving.”
His Facebook post has since been deleted, but not before OU Daily could obtain a copy.
You can read the copy of his post below:
I’m amazed that a University President such as Boren of OU does not know the difference between “learned” and “heard.”
If he truly believes these biggots [sic] at our former chapter at his University “learned” or were taught that vile song as part of the curriculum at one of the greatest learning experiences for young college men, the Mosely Leadership School, vs heard it from a handful of equally bigoted idiots outside of the extensive leadership curriculum, then he should not hold the position that he does as President of a major University.
His statements were inflammatory and self serving. At the end of the day, it was his students that chose to hear a vile chant, take it back to their university and make it part of their culture in their chapter.
Disgusting, one sided and biased and I’m done being silent.
After spending the weekend with a retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a retired Army General, the Director for the U.S. patent office and a retired President of Marriott International, most of whom attended the Mosely Leadership School as undergraduates and all learned valuable lessons from it as have tens of thousands of members over its 80 year history, I’m more convinced than ever that SAE builds character, it leads based on its strong values and principles of the True Gentlemen and has an amazing membership that has gone on to contribute enormously to society.
Like any organization, government, university or business, bad apples exist. How you deal with those bad apples is what counts.
We showed clearly and a lot faster than Oklahoma University did, we mean what we say, by closing the chapter within hours of seeing the disgusting video and bringing charges against all members for expulsion.
SAE is not the largest and one of the oldest Fraternities because it’s a racist organization. It is because of its values and its ability to change and adapt over the past 159 years.
A racist organization doesn’t elect a Jewish immigrant from South Africa as its national President. I’m proud to lead it, I’m proud of of our members and I’m proud of the many bold and proactive changes we’ve made in the past year. As our executive director has clearly stated, if any chapter uses this vile chant, they too will be dealt with harshly and swiftly.