The University of Oklahoma is looking into a situation involving the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity after a video turned up on social media purportedly showing fraternity members chanting racial slurs and singing about lynching.
The 10-second video clip first surfaced sometime early Sunday afternoon and immediately went viral. The footage appears to be shot by a passenger on a bus with several members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
In the brief video, you can hear and see the members loudly chanting together, “There will never be a n***** SAE.” SAE is a reference to the fraternity's Greek letters.
The chant repeats the first verse, then goes on to say, “You can hang them from a tree, but they'll never sign with me.”
The video is believed to have been shot on Saturday while the fraternity was on a chartered bus for a date night.
University President David Boren first responded to the video on his Twitter account, saying, “If the video is indeed of OU students, this behavior will not be tolerated and is contrary to all of our values. We are investigating. –Dbo”
Later, Boren issued another statement on this incident: "I have been informed of the video, which shows students engaging in a racist chant. We are investigating to determine if the video involved OU students. If OU students are involved, this behavior will not be tolerated and will be addressed very quickly. If the reports are true the chapter will no longer remain on campus. This behavior is reprehensible and contrary to all of our values."
Sigma Alpha Epsilon also issued the following statement regarding the situation via Twitter, Sigma Alpha Epsilon is aware of the video and is both shocked and appalled at what we have seen. Those types of behaviors are not consistent with our values whatsoever. We are investigating the details and will sanction those who are responsible.”
SAE National President Brad Cohen responded on Twitter as well, "The chapter has immediately been placed on a cease & desist. No place for racism. They will be dealt with! I know I speak for all when I say I'm disgusted and shocked by the video involving our @sae1856 chapter at U of OK. They will be dealt with."
Leadership at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon national headquarters is also looking into this incident, but just before 10:30 p.m. issued a press release saying that they will in fact close the SAE chapter at the University of Oklahoma.
Students at the University of Oklahoma have planned a peaceful protest on Monday at the North Oval at 7:30 a.m.