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Oklahoma University Reveals Sigma Alpha Epsilon Investigation Results

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The racist chant sung by members of a University of Oklahoma fraternity was part of the institutional culture of the organization. That's what findings from the university revealed today. The school launched an investigation after a video of the chant garnered national attention. Kate Carlton Greer of member station KGOU reports.

KATE CARLTON GREER, BYLINE: The video showed people on a bus singing, using the N-word and saying black students would never join Sigma Alpha Epsilon. OU President David Boren says the SAE members learned the racist chant four years ago on a cruise sponsored by the national fraternity.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DAVID BOREN: Over time, the chant was formalized by the local chapter and was taught to pledges as part of the formal and informal pledgeship process.

GREER: The national SAE organization confirmed the university's findings, but in a statement said there's no evidence the chant was wide-spread across the fraternity's 237 chapters. The university's investigation revealed alcohol was available at the fraternity the night the video was recorded. Boren had former SAE leaders meet with students from OU's African-American community. Isaac Hill is the president of the school's Black Student Association.

ISAAC HILL: I believe that the people and the students were very sincere in their apologies. The whole setting and tone of them was very emotional.

GREER: In addition to the two students already expelled and the closure of the SAE house, Boren announced new disciplinary action against two-dozen others. He's also implementing mandatory sensitivity training for all students this fall. For NPR News, I'm Kate Carlton Greer in Norman, Okla.

CORNISH: And a note that member station KGO's broadcast license is held by the University of Oklahoma. Its newsroom operates independently. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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