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Oklahoma University Cuts Ties With Fraternity After Racist Video Posted


Football practice was canceled for the storied University of Oklahoma Sooners yesterday. Instead, players and coaches decided to protest. It was part of a campus-wide reaction to a video that surfaced showing fraternity members chanting a song with slurs and racist messages. KGOU's Jacob McCleland reports the footage has caused a massive uproar there.

JACOB MCCLELAND, BYLINE: In the video, members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon recited a chant that mentioned lynching and said no African-Americans would ever be members of the fraternity. University president David Boren quickly called the students' behavior reprehensible and ordered the frat off campus. The national fraternity shut down the chapter's house. Members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon piled their belongings into family cars and rental trucks while other students continue college life. Ryan Griffith is an engineering physics major from Edmond, Okla. He thinks the punishment was a bit extreme.

RYAN GRIFFITH: 'Cause there was only a few individuals that, in my opinion, were responsible, so it does suck for the other men that had to suffer because of them and lose their house. But I can understand where the SAE nationals and President Boren are coming from.

MCCLELAND: Jenna Smith is a senior public relations major from Oklahoma City and a member of the Black Student Association. She wasn't surprised by the video, but she's disappointed people have sympathy for the fraternity members.

JENNA SMITH: Some people feeling sorry for them that they got kicked out of their house, that they're going to be homeless - like, I thought that was kind of, like, sad. (Laughter) You know, they're worried about them and their well-being when, you know, if you watch the video, it's clear what their beliefs are and what they stand for.

MCCLELAND: All Sigma Alpha Epsilon members have to be out of their house by midnight tonight. The university is not helping them find new housing. Boren said the university does not provide services for bigots. For NPR News, I'm Jacob McCleland. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Jacob McCleland spent nine years as a reporter and host at public radio station KRCU in Cape Girardeau, Mo. His stories have appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Here & Now, Harvest Public Media and PRI’s The World. Jacob has reported on floods, disappearing languages, crop duster pilots, anvil shooters, Manuel Noriega, mule jumps and more.

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