OU SAE fraternity scandal raises questions about campus alcohol use

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NORMAN, Okla. - More questions are emerging amid the scandal involving a fraternity at OU.

One of the accused students blames alcohol for his racist chant on the way to a party last Saturday night.

Parker Rice and Levi Pettit were expelled from OU on Tuesday for having "a leadership role" in that viral video.

The SAE frat house is now closed and all of the members have moved out.

While most of the focus has been on how racism contributed to the video, there is no doubt alcohol also played a role.

"We all know people do really stupid things when they're intoxicated," said Tom Boone, with 'A Chance to Change.'

In his own words, Rice wrote, "I admit the chant likely was fueled by alcohol consumed at the house before the bus trip."

For more than a decade, drinking has been banned at all OU fraternities, sororities and residence halls.

In 2004, Blake Hammontree died of alcohol poisoning. The 19-year-old's death inside the Sigma Chi fraternity led to the ban.

"It's a problem," said Boone.

Boone says drinking on college campuses exceeds the national norm.

"The need to fit in in universities is very important," said Boone. "In college and universities, 60 percent, on average, of the student population actively drinks."

Boone says universities can always do more to educate students about the consequences of drinking.

"You can never do enough prevention education on campus," said Boone. "It's not just an individual problem. It's the community's problem."

Several calls and emails to officials with OU, asking to talk about their current policies, were not returned.

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