NewsNews

Fraternity students thrown out of college for singing racist chants

NewsBy Sunday World
There was a mass protest by fellow students at the fraternity's racist behaviour
There was a mass protest by fellow students at the fraternity's racist behaviour

The president of the University of Oklahoma has condemned the well-heeled members of a fraternity who participated in a racist chant caught on video, and ordered that they vacate their house by tomorrow night.

President David Boren joined students at a pre-dawn rally today on the Norman campus, just hours after Sigma Alpha Epsilon said an investigation confirmed the contents of the online video.

The video shows several people chanting a racial slur and indicating black students would never be admitted to the fraternity. The chant also references lynching.

"These people have acted in a way that's absolutely reprehensible and disgraceful," Mr Boren said.

The national fraternity released a statement last night saying it was "embarrassed" by the "unacceptable and racist" behaviour. It also said it would close the local chapter.

Mr Boren later released a statement saying members had until midnight tomorrow to remove their personal belongings from the fraternity house. A fraternity is an organisation of male college students in the US.

A link to the video was posted by OU Unheard, a black student group on campus, after someone anonymously brought it to the group's attention, communications director Alexis Hall said today.

"We immediately needed to share that with the OU student body," said Ms Hall, a junior. "For students to say they're going to lynch an entire group of people... It's disgusting."

It is unclear who recorded the video, when it was recorded and who initially posted it online.

Ms Hill said a link to the video was sent yesterday afternoon to the student group, which formed in the autumn in response to a fatal police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

The video appears to have been taken on a charter bus, with at least one of the chanting students wearing a tuxedo.

"I was shocked they were just doing it openly on the bus, like they were proud of it," said Jared Scarborough, a junior in construction science.

"From the chant you could tell they had done it before. It wasn't a first-time thing. And it was everybody. And the fist-pumping."

The University of Oklahoma, located in the southern Oklahoma City suburb of Norman, has about 27,000 students, about 5 per cent of whom are black. The fraternity system is largely segregated.