Greek life releases statement on University of Oklahoma SAE incident

By Shoham Geva, Daily News Editor
Published March 12, 2015

Following the suspension of a fraternity at the University of Oklahoma for a racist chant, all four executive councils of University Greek life released a statement announcing an increased commitment to diversity, as well as condemning the OU fraternity’s actions.

The OU Sigma Alpha Epilson chapter was suspended Monday after a video showing fraternity members participating in a racist chant was leaked Saturday.

In the statement, the councils applauded the disciplinary actions taken against the OU chapter of SAE, and said they approved of the suspension.

“The University of Michigan Greek Community is disgusted by this shameful act of racism and ignorance, which represents a greater lack of cultural competency in the University of Oklahoma’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, an organization that is not currently represented at our institution,” the statement read.

The statement also announced the launch of new diversity efforts on campus within Greek life, including plans for a student-led task force to address issues of inclusivity.

“Our four councils have individually and collectively discussed our need to dig deeper into the inclusivity conversation,” the statement read.“Our community has taken steps to broaden the scope of our work collectively at the executive level.”

Last year, University Greek life encountered its own brush with allegations of racism when invitations to a party with the self-described theme of “hood ratchet” from the University chapter of fraternity Theta Xi drew student complaints. The complaints cited frequent references to gangs, as well as usage of the terms “bad bitches,” “ratchet” and the promise of a twerking contest.

The fraternity was ultimately sanctioned by the University and suspended following a formal investigation.