NORMAN, Okla. — The University of Oklahoma severed ties to one of the nation’s largest college fraternities on Monday, and ordered the campus chapter to vacate its fraternity house, after videos surfaced that appeared to show fraternity members singing a racist song.
At a predawn rally on the campus here, the university president, David L. Boren, said members of the fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, must remove their personal belongings from the chapter house by midnight Tuesday, after which the house would be closed. Hours later, a cluster of moving vans was parked outside the house, which had been vandalized overnight.
The fraternity’s national organization said Sunday night that it had closed the chapter and suspended all of its members.
“These people have acted in a way that is absolutely reprehensible and disgraceful,” Mr. Boren, a former Oklahoma governor and United States senator, said at the campus rally, which drew several hundred to protest the fraternity members’ actions. “I don’t have words in my vocabulary to adequately describe how I feel about people who would use those words in that way, and chant in that way.”
Gov. Mary Fallin expressed support for Mr. Boren’s response. “As the outrage among Oklahomans has demonstrated, we are a state that does not tolerate that kind of disrespectful behavior,” she said in a statement.
The videos show a group of young white people in formal wear riding a bus and singing a song laden with anti-black slurs and at least one reference to lynching. The lyrics vow that the fraternity will never have black members; it is not clear whether the university’s chapter actually does.
In the video, grinning young men in tuxedos pump their fists in the air as they sing. One video was first reported by The Oklahoma Daily, a student newspaper, which said it had learned about it from an anonymous tip sent by email on Sunday. A second video emerged Monday.
There is no excuse, no acceptable explanation. The frat boys in that video not only behaved atrociously, they dishonored and embarrassed their school, families and the national fraternity organization. Youth and intoxication are no defense.
The worst part is those idiots aren’t dumb rednecks, they are members of the privileged elite. They are no longer members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon though, because the national fraternity is expelling them.
Seriously, where did these cretins come from? Were they brought out of the deep South in a time machine from the 1950’s? They deserve every bit of punishment they get.
As a white person of 1/2 Okie descent whose father and 3 siblings attended the University of Oklahoma, I feel embarrassed. They did about the worst thing they could possibly do without committing a crime.