The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

With their fraternity closed, University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon members move out

The University of Oklahoma has closed a fraternity linked to a video of students singing racial epithets and ordered its members to move out of their frat house. (Video: Reuters)

Hours after the University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter was shut down over a racist video that went viral, the fraternity’s members packed their belongings into moving trucks and minivans as maintenance workers removed the fraternity’s Greek letters from their former house.

SAE, by order of the fraternity’s national organization and university president David Boren, was closed.

[‘Real Sooners are not bigots.’ How the University of Oklahoma is responding to a racist frat video.]

The school hasn’t determined whether further action will be taken against the individuals shown chanting “You can hang ’em from a tree, but it will never start with me/There will never be a n—– SAE” in the video. However, Boren said Monday that school administrators were exploring every option available, including expulsion.

As for where the SAE members will live in the meantime, Boren said: “We don’t provide student services for bigots.”

Boren set a midnight Tuesday deadline for all fraternity members to remove their belongings from the house.

The university is still in the process of investigating which members of the fraternity participated in the chant. At least one person on the bus where it took place presumably objected to the racist refrain — the person, who remains anonymous, recorded a 10-second video of the scene on the bus and sent it to a black student organization called Unheard.

For those who did participate, Boren had strong words on Monday. “Real Sooners are not bigots, real Sooners are not racist,” he said, calling the video “disgraceful.” He added: “As far as I’m concerned, [Sigma Alpha Epsilon] won’t be back, not as long as I’m president.”

[Quick response from ‘the nation’s deadliest fraternity’ to a racist video]

Overnight, as the video spread rapidly across the campus and the country, somebody wrote “Tear it down” on the side of the fraternity’s house.

On Monday, a university crew removed Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s Greek lettering.

Some students, along with their parents, began clearing the house on Monday. KOCO reporter Wendell Edwards, who was at the house as students loaded up trucks, tweeted: “The #SAE members I confronted said they were embarrassed. And they do have places to go.”

MORE READING: The ‘deadliest’ fraternity has eliminated pledging

University of Oklahoma fraternity closed after racist chant