UPDATE 11:54 - The OUDaily is reporting that SAE members have received death threats and that their house has been vandalized.
Talked with two SAE members outside of the frat house. They told me they've been receiving death threats via email and Facebook. @OUDaily— Dana Branham (@danabranham) March 9, 2015
OU's Sigma Alpha Epsilon has been disbanded by its national organization following the Sunday night leak of video showing members participating in a racist chant.
Read the full press release from Brandon Weghorst, associate executive director of communication for Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, below:
NORMAN, OK – Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national headquarters has closed its Oklahoma Kappa chapter at the University of Oklahoma following the discovery of an inappropriate and racist video. In addition, all of the members have been suspended, and those members who are responsible for the incident may have their membership privileges revoked permanently.
We apologize for the unacceptable and racist behavior of the individuals in the video, and we are disgusted that any member would act in such a way. Furthermore, we are embarrassed by this video and offer our empathy not only to anyone outside the organization who is offended but also to our brothers who come from a wide range of backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities.
This type of racist behavior will not be tolerated and is not consistent with the values and morals of our fraternity. We have more than 15,000 collegiate members across the nation, and this incident should not reflect on other brothers because this type of hateful action is not what Sigma Alpha Epsilon stands for. This is absolutely not who we are.
We teach our members to serve as role models in their communities and to live up to our creed, “The True Gentleman.” When members fail to do so, we will not hesitate to take corrective actions or to impose sanctions. Any behavior that is not aligned with the conduct we expect is unacceptable. Equally unacceptable is bystander behavior of members who fail to intervene when they witness conduct that deviates from our beliefs.
“I was not only shocked and disappointed but disgusted by the outright display of racism displayed in the video,” said Brad Cohen, the fraternity’s national president. “SAE is a diverse organization, and we have zero tolerance for racism or any bad behavior. When we learned about this incident, I called an immediate board meeting, and we determined with no mental reservation whatsoever that this chapter needed to be closed immediately. I am proud of my fellow board members because we mean what we say.”
Although Sigma Alpha Epsilon regrets the closure, we believe members must be held responsible for their actions. We are hopeful that we can re-establish the Oklahoma Kappa chapter at some point in the future with a group of men who exemplify our beliefs and who serve as leaders on campus and in the community.