University of Oklahoma students and faculty react to racist frat video

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Graffiti is seen painted on the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, March 9, 2015. The University of Oklahoma has closed the fraternity linked to a racist video of students singing racial epithets and ordered its members to move out of the house. Photo by Heide Brandes/Reuters

Graffiti is seen painted on the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, March 9, 2015. The University of Oklahoma has closed the fraternity linked to a racist video of students singing racial epithets and ordered its members to move out of the house. Photo by Heide Brandes/Reuters

Students and faculty at the University of Oklahoma are outraged by a video that went viral on YouTube Sunday night that features members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity chanting racial slurs.

OU Students began protesting early Monday morning against the fraternity and were joined by both faculty and the football team, who skipped practice to attend. Also in attendance was school President David Boren, who declared that racism wouldn’t be tolerated on the OU campus. Boren later released a statement that the university administration has “severed ties” with the local chapter, banishing the frat and giving the members until midnight to leave campus.

The video came to light after an African American activist group at OU, Unheard, posted the clip on social media sites, addressing it directly to President Boren.

Students shared their outrage on Twitter:

The national SAE chapter has also renounced this local Oklahoma Chapter, closing the frat and suspending the members from the organization. After apologizing for the video, SAE reiterated that the incident did not reflect the views of its 15,000 members nationwide.

Many have also praised President Boren for his swift, heartfelt response and handling of the situation, including White House press secretary Josh Earnest. Earlier today, at the White House briefing, Earnest called it “an appropriate step.”

“But I certainly, on behalf of everybody here at the White House, we would certainly welcome the steps taken by the president of the university as well as the steps that were taken by the national organization to completely repudiate the comments that were included in that video.”

President Boren said the next step is reviewing the actions the University can take, including expulsion of the individual members of the frat in particular those orchestrating the chant.

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