UND, NDSU fraternities condemn racist video
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The University of North Dakota's and North Dakota State University's Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternities released a statement Wednesday in response to a video that recently surfaced online showing chapter members in Oklahoma sin...
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The University of North Dakota's and North Dakota State University’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternities released a statement Wednesday in response to a video that recently surfaced online showing chapter members in Oklahoma singing and chanting racial slurs.
"The members of the (SAE) chapters in North Dakota were disgusted and appalled as we watched the video depicting a racist song sung by members of the chapter at the University of Oklahoma," the statement said. "In no way does the behavior and attitude of these members reflect the behavior and attitudes of members of our two chapters."
The statement is in response to a video posted online Sunday depicting SAE students from Oklahoma on a rented bus singing racial slurs targeting black people. The song the group sang focused on never admitting black people into the fraternity's house in Norman, Okla., and referenced lynching.
Video has also surfaced of the university’s SAE house mother, Beauton Gildow, using a racial slur.
University President David Boren subsequently cut all ties with the fraternity and booted out two students accused of playing a "leadership role" in the video, according to media reports. SAE members had until Tuesday night to move out of their fraternity house.
SAE leadership is also permanently revoking the membership of all the Oklahoma University chapter members, according to a statement on the group's website.
The NDSU and UND SAE chapters said in their statement they supported the decision.
"We believe when members of a chapter of our fraternity do not live up to the expectations of our creed, that they should be held accountable for their actions by their chapter or by the national fraternity," the statement said.
On Tuesday, SAE leadership also announced they will be investigating chapters throughout the country after other incidents of racism were brought to the attention of headquarters, though the group noted some of those occurrences happened more than 20 years ago.
"Although we cannot change the past, we can learn from the present and alter the future," the statement on the SAE website said.
UND's SAE President Hunter Huberty said his chapter hadn't been contacted in regard to the investigation.
"At our chapter this has never been a problem," he said.
Huberty said the statement summarizes how his chapter feels in response to the incident.
"We believe the actions of the few at one particular chapter don't reflect the fraternity as a whole," he said. "We are a diverse chapter with many different religious and racial backgrounds."