Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Univ. of Oklahoma President: Frat Members 'Disgraceful'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Univ. of Oklahoma President: Frat Members 'Disgraceful'

Article excerpt

NORMAN, Okla. * The president of the University of Oklahoma severed the school's ties with a national fraternity on Monday and ordered that its on-campus house be shuttered after several members took part in a racist chant caught in an online video.

President David Boren said he was sickened and couldn't eat or sleep after learning about the video Sunday afternoon. It shows several people on a bus participating in a chant that included a racial slur, made reference to lynching and indicated black students would never be admitted to OU's chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

Dozens of University of Oklahoma students gathered on campus Monday morning before dawn to protest, with some carrying placards decrying racism.

Boren attended the predawn rally. He lambasted those fraternity members as "disgraceful" and called their behavior "reprehensible." He said the university was looking into a range of punishment, including expulsion.

Also at Monday's rally were Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops and many of his players. The longtime coach told the Tulsa World that he considers the video "appalling." Stoops, assistant football coach Mike Stoops, Oklahoma men's basketball coach Lon Kruger and about 100 athletes were at the demonstration, according to the Tulsa World.

Boren said at a midday news conference: "I'd be glad if (the fraternity members) left. I might even pay the bus fare for them."

National leaders of Sigma Alpha Epsilon said late Sunday that its investigation confirmed members had taken part in the chant and announced it would close the local chapter. The national group said it was "embarrassed" by the "unacceptable and racist" behavior.

Boren said members had until midnight Tuesday to remove their personal belongings from the fraternity house. He said the fraternity was "not totally forthcoming," and he was still trying to find out who was on the bus so the school could consider disciplinary action against them. …

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