Tags: MidPoint | Oklahoma | racist video | SAE | expulsions

OU Journalist: Debate 'Stirring' Over Expulsions for Racist Video

By    |   Thursday, 12 Mar 2015 05:00 PM

University of Oklahoma Sooners are disgusted by a racist fraternity jingle that was captured on video, and most support the decision to expel two classmates and shutter their fraternity, the student producer of a campus television news show told Newsmax TV on Thursday.

But some on campus are also questioning the summary expulsions carried out by university President David Boren, Lauren King, senior producer of "OU Nightly," told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.

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"Most everyone we've talked to was like, yes, this is the right thing," said King. "But now people are starting to say, well, is this constitutional? Is this fair? Did they get due process? Is it covered by free speech? It was on a private bus on the way to a private event.

"Debate is definitely stirring," she said, "but I would say overall, people seem pleased with how the university has handled the situation."

Asked to describe how guests on "OU Nightly" are feeling about the incident itself, fourth-year student King said: "I don't know if 'shocked' is the right word. I think it's more disgusted, hurt and ashamed … because we are a family at OU."

The video shows members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity chapter in Norman, Okla., aboard a chartered party bus, and participating in a sing-along that uses racist slurs and a reference to lynching to proclaim the fraternity as off-limits to African-Americans.

The footage was filmed over the weekend and posted online, where it quickly spread.

King said most students interviewed on "OU Nightly" since the clip became a national story did not realize that the chant heard in the video is "institutional" — a tradition that was handed down to new pledges before the SAE chapter in Norma, Okla., was shut down by the university and decertified by the national fraternal group.

"But in today's day and age, it doesn't surprise … when people joke about race, sexual orientation and other really sensitive topics," she said.

"It's hurtful and sick," said King, "but I don't think anyone was like, 'oh my gosh, I had no idea people said that word,' because that would just be unrealistic."

The two expelled students, both from the Dallas area, have issued statements apologizing, and Boren has said more students could face discipline.

King said most Sooners appearing on her show agree the punishments so far have fit the crime.

"A lot of people have come in and out of our doors in the past three or four days now," said King. "Almost everyone we've talked to has said, 'I'm so proud of how President Boren handled the situation; it was classy and he acted quickly.' "

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University of Oklahoma Sooners are disgusted by a racist fraternity jingle that was captured on video, and most support the decision to expel two classmates and shutter their fraternity, the student producer of a campus television news show told Newsmax TV on Thursday.
Oklahoma, racist video, SAE, expulsions
471
2015-00-12
Thursday, 12 Mar 2015 05:00 PM
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