Students and faculty gathered in the North Oval by the George Lynn Cross statue in response and watched a video of Sigma Alpha Epsilon members participating in a racist chant on a bus.
Attendees gathered in small circles and prayed, then they all joined together into one big circle for a large prayer. People prayed about the people affected by the video and asked for forgiveness for the ones involved in the incident.
“Don’t let the actions of a few people be indicative of an entire Sooner family,” one speaker in the prayer circle said.
Dillon Brown and his wife Sheyda Brown, both OU students, were the organizers of the prayer circle. Dillon Brown said that they both felt a need to gather God’s love in response to the events that transpired today.
“We were both just really broken,” Dillon Brown said. “Even though we aren’t black, hate hurts all.”
Sheyda Brown said she and her husband wanted to create a safe environment for people to express themselves about the video that was leaked on the Internet today.
“I had faith that God would do big things, and he did,” Sheyda Brown said. “People came and it was really inspiring to see… a bunch of people who didn’t know each other… get together and come together.”
After the group prayer circle, Dillon Brown instructed those at the event to pair up with another participant and “cover the campus in prayer.”
Many upstanding faces throughout the OU campus were present at the prayer circle, including the college of arts and sciences dean Kelly Damphousse, OU press secretary Corbin Wallace, and Student Government Association President Kunal Naik. Basketball players Isaiah Cousins and Frank Booker and football players Eric Striker and Charles Tapper attended as well.
One person with the group of students that included the athletes, who arrived later to the event, got the audience’s attention and told it to meet in the “academic center” dressed in “business casual” if they want to “help this cause.” Cousins said they were joining student advocacy group OU Unheard in its cause.
Unheard will demonstrate at 7:30 a.m. at the entrance of the North Oval tomorrow morning. OU’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter was disbanded by its national organization Sunday night as a result of the video leak.