NORMAN, Okla. – The Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity members who were caught on video making a racist chant have been kicked out of their Greek residence by University of Oklahoma President David Boren.
“It will not be tolerated. That is why that house is immediately closed,” Boren said at a Monday morning news conference on campus. “That is why those young men will have to have their belongings out of that house by midnight, tomorrow, and as they pack their bags, I hope they think long and hard about what they’ve done.”
Boren said the men who can be seen shouting racial slurs toward blacks and singing about lynchings – a video that has gone viral and made national headlines – “don’t deserve to be called Sooners.”
“They’re misusing our name. Sooners are not racists and bigots.”
The largest applause during the press conference happened when Boren was asked about the future of SAE in Norman.
“As far as I’m concerned, it won’t be back,” he said. “At least not while I’m president of the university.”
The university’s legal staff is now investigating the video to determine if any of the students seen on tape will be expelled.
OU has a student code that prevents discrimination, based on the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“We will look at all possible punishment and what is available to us under the law,” Boren said.
“Would I be happy if they left the university as students and were no longer our students? You betcha,” he continued. “I’d be happy. We don’t have any room for racists and bigots at this university. I’d be glad if they left.
“We’re not going to help them. They’re going to have to find a way. That’s not our responsibility. We don’t provide student services for bigots,” Boren said.
Students at the university were also appalled by the fraternity’s actions.
“Using the ‘N word’ by itself is despicable,” OU Student Marc Agagah said, “but when you start going into lynching, it just takes a dark path.”
“When I first saw that video, I was not shocked. I was like ‘thank God somebody caught it on camera’,” OU student Marquis Ard said. “If he gets those students kicked out, that is a key first step. This is not tolerated, but you have to go even deeper than that. OU has to start thinking about the students that they’re recruiting here.”
“It was really sad to see a group of students could have so much fervor about a message,” Christopher Flix, National Panhellenic Council, said, “and especially a word that’s so hateful and has such a storied history.”