Fraternity members in Colorado say racist video at Oklahoma not representative of ‘Greek life’

SAE at Univ. of Oklahoma video

SAE at Univ. of Oklahoma video

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DENVER -- The Sigma Alpha Epsilon Chapter at the University of Oklahoma is now shut down because of a video that surfaced over the weekend showing some of the members singing a racist chant.

Now members of fraternities across the state of Colorado are weighing in, many saying this shines a bad light on all Greek life.

University of Denver sophomore Ryan Neary said, "It's not something that should be said anywhere, in any context." He and fellow Zeta Beta Tau member, Peter Throckmorton said they were shocked when they heard about it. "It makes me feel horrible," Throckmorton said.

As the men of Sigma Alpha Epsilon in Norman, Oklahoma move their stuff from the now shut down fraternity, chapters around the nation are left to defend their organization and the Greek system. Neary said, "I think it's unfortunate, is the biggest thing, only because it's not a reflection of what Greek life is actually about."

While SAE members at the major universities across Colorado declined comment, several did post Facebook messages condemning the video. Colorado State University’s chapter wrote in part, “Happy founders day to all active brothers and alumni! While the bad deeds of few have tarnished what should be a day of celebration, we all know what we truly stand for.”

A celebration because the fraternity was founded on March 9, 159 years ago in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Throckmorton said,  "A horrible thing to have happen especially with the timing of the Civil Rights 50th anniversary."

The University of Denver’s SAE Chapter wrote this on Facebook, in part, "Those former brothers do not represent our brotherhood nationally or locally."

"I have friends that are African American at other SAE Chapters around the nation and I was asking them how they feel and they completely hate it because they feel violated because they call them their brothers at the OU Chapter,” said Throckmorton.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon hasn’t been without its share of controversy either. In March of 2014, the fraternity banned pledging. At least 10 deaths have occurred at SAE events since 2006. Additionally, according to the SAE website, at least 30 chapters have been suspended since 2010, and nearly 100 put on probation. SAE operates more than 200 chapters across the nation.

You can read the statement from Sigma Alpha Epsilon regarding the incident at the University of Oklahoma here.

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