March 14th, 2015
University of Oklahoma’s SAE Fraternity Shut Down After Video of Racist Chant Goes Viral
Members of University of Oklahoma’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), the largest fraternity in the country, were caught on video this week chanting a racist song to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” The song, with lyrics like, “You can hang him from a tree, but he’ll never sign with me, there will never be a n*gger at SAE,” was deeply disturbing to many on campus, and the video soon spread throughout the nation.
The national chapter of SAE moved quickly to condemn the behavior and distance themselves from the incident while the University of Oklahoma was equally swift in suspending the students, initiating an investigation, and shutting down the campus’ chapter and housing.
For many, this incident was a sobering reminder of the segregationist roots of the fraternity’s founding in the antebellum south, causing many to question how far the organization really had come.
On March 14, 2015, SAE announced each of the cases of their suspended members would be heard before a national SAE special commission to decide their appropriate penalties.