The Greek letters have been removed from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house and the football team protested instead of practicing as fallout continued Tuesday from an SAE video of members chanting racist remarks at the University of Oklahoma.
School President David Boren has already severed ties with the fraternity and promised a thorough investigation that could result in expulsion of some students from the school.
Fraternity members have until Tuesday night to clear out of the fraternity house.
Boren, speaking Tuesday on CNN, again stressed the school’s “zero tolerance for racism and bigotry” message. He said lawyers were trying to determine what actions the school can legally take against the students, particularly those who led and encouraged the chant. At issue: free speech rights versus prohibition of racial discrimination.
“We are not going to tolerate it, we simply can’t,” Boren said. “If I have to take a risk by sending kids home… I will do it.”
The school’s Delta Delta Delta sorority chapter was also feeling heat amid claims that some members were seen chanting in the video.The national office of the sorority said it was cooperating with the investigation, but the chapter tweeted late Monday that “We fully support our OU president. We are NOT under investigation. The statement on our website is national protocol.”
On Monday, Boren accused the fraternity members of misusing their right to free speech in a “reprehensible” way and promised that the school will become “an example to the entire country of how to deal with this issue.”
OU is a state school with almost 30,000 students, about 5% of them black.
A rally against the video drew hundreds of students Monday, and later the Oklahoma football team marched in protest, joined by coach Bob Stoops and athletic director Joe Castiglione.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the efforts by the university and the national fraternity to repudiate the racist comments were “an appropriate step.”
SOURCE: John Bacon