AUSTIN, Texas — After the video of the OU Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter chanting venomous words of racism was released, the SAE chapter at the University of Texas fell under fire as well.
The fraternity in Austin was scrutinized for being affiliated with the same Greek letters, and therefore having known and said the same chant that has spread like wildfire across the nation.
The Dean of Students on Fraternity Issues released a statement Wednesday that read,
After recent events involving the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity chapter at the University of Oklahoma, our office was made aware of online allegations of similar behavior at our local chapter of SAE. We connected with local chapter leadership yesterday, who confirmed they do not perform the chant or anything similar. They also confirmed never having heard the chant before and stated such behavior had no place in their organization. Our office is also reaching out to former and current students involved with SAE for a more complete review.
Answering questions about past behavior may take time, but we wanted to let the community know right now that our local chapter of SAE reports no awareness of the chant and expresses strong disapproval of it.
The President of the UT SAE chapter then released a statement in regards to the accusations.
As the president of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) chapter at The University of Texas at Austin and in the wake of the current situation regarding the SAE chapter at the University of Oklahoma, I would like to address allegations regarding our chapter. First and foremost, I would like to clarify that we do not perform this chant or anything remotely close to it for that matter, nor had I, or any active member in our entire chapter, heard of the chant preceding the release of the video containing racial slurs. Personally, I am deeply offended by the behavior, and I can speak on the behalf of my fraternity brothers that we are all profoundly distressed about the vindictive words that were used in it. This portrayal of SAE is absolutely appalling to me and I strongly believe that it is not an accurate representation of Sigma Alpha Epsilon nationally, and more specifically our chapter. We are not a racist fraternity, for we accept men into our brotherhood based strictly upon their character and not the color of their skin. In fact, we happen to have a fairly diverse group of active members that come from many different nationalities and faiths, including Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Christians, Jewish brothers, and Muslims.
I would also like to comment on the allegations that have been made of our chapter and assure to you that these are false and stem from unknown sources because of the nature of social media (e.g. Twitter, Reddit). A twitter post that is now deleted from MikeEvans25’s account was addressed to the president of OU, David Boren, and read the following: “I was an SAE at a university in Texas from 2000-2004. The exact same chant was often used then. This is not isolated.” Please note that the twitter post reads “at a university in Texas” rather than “at The University of Texas.” I believe that people assumed or misread that he was speaking directly about our chapter at UT, so he soon responded and stated that he never specified what university he attended. After doing our own investigation, we found he was not an SAE at the University of Texas. The second allegation comes from a comment on a Reddit thread that was posted about a month ago on a blog that accused another fraternity of having a racist theme party. This comment has been deleted as well. Although this post was on a thread focused on racism at UT, there was still no indication or specification on what school he attended.
In closing, I’d like to sincerely apologize to anyone who might have been offended by the racist video of the SAE’s at OU, but I can reassure you that we do nothing of this nature, and any inappropriate or unacceptable behavior like this has never and will never be tolerated at Sigma Alpha Epsilon at The University of Texas at Austin.
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