NORMAN, Okla. — As the University of Oklahoma expelled two students Tuesday for leading a racist song that sparked outrage across the country, the fraternity involved said it would investigate incidents at other campuses as it faced questions over the chant’s use by members at other universities.
Former members of the fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, claimed on social media that the same chant was used at colleges in other states, and University of Oklahoma officials investigating the episode said they did not believe the song had originated on their campus.
“I’m not sure that it’s strictly local,” said the university’s president, David L. Boren, a former Oklahoma governor and United States senator. Mr. Boren expelled the two students Tuesday but did not identify them, saying they had played a leading a role in the singing of the chant and “created a hostile learning environment for others.”Over the years, there have been a number of recorded instances of SAE chapters engaging in racist practices (listed below), raising the question of whether the national office has let such behavior continue unchecked.
One former SAE member, who asked for anonymity out of concerns for his safety, told HuffPost he had heard brothers use the same racist song as the OU students when he was a pledge in a Texas chapter a decade ago. At least two Reddit users have made similar claims online, and an Oklahoma student who attended an SAE event two years ago told NBC News she had heard the chant as well.