NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity chapter at Yale University is under investigation for allegations of racial intolerance during a party over the weekend.
Neema Githere, a student at Yale, posted on Facebook that SAE’s chapter on campus turned away a group of girls from their party Friday night, saying admittance was on a “White Girls Only” basis.
Githere said the same fraternity turned her and her friends away for the same reason last year.
Sofia Petros-Gouin told the Washington Post that she witnessed the fraternity turn dark-skinned students away from the party.
“A group of girls came up who were predominantly black and Hispanic,” Petros-Gouin told the Washington Post. “He held his hand up to their faces and said, ‘No, we’re only looking for white girls.’ … He pulled a blond girl up from the bottom of the stairs — over some people — pushed her inside and said, ‘We are looking for white girls only, white girls only.’ No brothers corrected him or said anything.”
The fraternity denies the allegations and says the only screening they do at the door is ask for a Yale ID.
The chapter president says people were turned away, but not due to race.
“The house, it’s overcrowded, it’s over capacity, it’s a safety hazard,” SAE president Grant Mueller told WVIT.
He claims police officers told him not to let anyone else into the party.
“‘White Girls Only’ and the sentiment it expresses in no way describes our admission policy for social events. Entry into our home was by no means determined by race. Our party was diverse in attendance, with attendees of all races, genders and sexual orientations, as is every social event we host. Admission into the house is determined solely by safety considerations, friendship with brothers, and possession of valid Yale identification,” Mueller said in a statement.
In a statement, SAE’s national headquarters said they were made aware of the incident and were investigating.
“The Sigma Alpha Epsilon headquarters has been investigating an allegation of racial intolerance at our Yale chapter since it was first brought to our attention. Based on preliminary information we have received, law-enforcement officers received a noise complaint and visited the house where members held a social event over the weekend, asking the men to stop admitting guests and to clear the steps and sidewalk. The brothers complied with the direction given to them and halted any additional attendance by guests in order to avoid a citation.
“Our chapter at Yale University is comprised of a diverse group of students, and similarly, the social event included a diverse number of attendees. However, we will continue to investigate this allegation to determine additional information. Sigma Alpha Epsilon is committed to the safety and well-being of our members and their guests, and our leadership has zero tolerance for any behaviors or actions that deviate from our values, mission and creed.”
This is not the first time the fraternity has been accused of racism.
In March, the University of Oklahoma chapter was shut down after a video of members performing a racist chant went viral.