Students removed from the University of Oklahoma for a racist chant

Students removed from the University of Oklahoma for a racist chant

Juli Lamparillo, Editor in Chief

On Tuesday, March 3, two students from University of Oklahoma got expelled due to a racist chant that became viral on video. The students were on their way to a formal for their fraternity when someone caught them singing on film.

The two students’ names are unidentified, however, the president of the university, David Boren, said, “[These students] played a leading role in the chant and created a hostile learning environment for others.” They used racial slurs and terms that were very offensive, specifically towards black people.

As a whole, the fraternity, named Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), said, “The chant is in no way endorsed by the organization nor part of any education whatsoever.” Although the other members did not have any part of it, the house was still shut down that night. After the video was released, dozens of black and white students marched towards the house in protest.

Parker Rice, 19 and former member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, said, “The chant had most likely been fueled by alcohol, and the song was taught to us.” Rice did not say who taught him and the other members the chant.

Beuton Gilbow, 79 and house mother of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, admitted to being a part of the video. Allegedy, Gilbow was “heartbroken” that she was being seen as a racist because of the video. Part of the chant included insulting phrases such as “You can hang ‘em from a tree.”

Jean Delance, high school football star from Mesquite, Texas, withdrew his commitment to play for Oklahoma after hearing about the incident. The athlete is black, and he did not want to be representing the college after he found out about this.

This is not the first time the fraternity has gotten in trouble for racist incidents. In 2006, they had a “jungle party” where members would dress up in black masks and others would dress as hunters and chase the others around. There have been 10 instances where Sigma Alpha Epsilon nearly got their house taken away for inappropriate and insulting events.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon has only had two recorded black members in history. William Blake James II, member in 2001, wrote on a blog of his that he was only the second black member, and there has not yet been a third.

The fraternity no longer exists at the University of Oklahoma, and further investigation will be done in regards to the video to find out other people that were involved and if there is any information investigators are missing.