• President of UT SAE chapter condemns OU fraternity video

    After a viral video showed Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members from the University of Oklahoma chanting racial slurs, the president of UT’s SAE chapter released a statement asserting the University's chapter is not associated with the chant.

    In video that surfaced Sunday, SAE members use multiple anti-black slurs and reference lynching, singing, “You can hang them from a tree, but they’ll never sign with me.”

    In the hours following the release of the video, OU President David Boren severed ties between OU and the SAE chapter and expelled two students who, he said, played a “leadership role” in singing the chant. Tuesday, President William Powers Jr. announced the dean of students would look into whether UT’s SAE chapter has traditionally used a similar chant.

    "Rumors also are circulating that a chant similar to the one at OU has been traditional in the UT chapter of SAE," Powers said in a statement. "Our dean of students said Monday she is looking into this matter as is standard practice in such cases."

    Luke Cone, UT’s SAE chapter president, said he neither, nor any active member of the fraternity, had heard of the chant prior to the release of the video.

    “Personally, I am deeply offended by the behavior, and I can speak on the behalf of my fraternity brothers that we are all profoundly distressed about the vindictive words that were used in it,” Cone said in the statement.

    Rumors on social media regarding UT’s SAE chapter began after an anonymous Reddit comment surfaced alleging the fraternity members often sang a chant with similar lyrics. The comment, posted last month, was not authenticated. Later, another user on Twitter sent a message addressed to Boren that read, “I was an SAE at a university in Texas from 2000-2004. The exact same chant was often used then. This is not isolated.” The tweet has since been deleted.

    Cone said he did not believe there was truth to the posts' claims.

    “Please note that the twitter post reads ‘at a university in Texas’ rather than ‘at The University of Texas,’” Cone said. “I believe that people assumed or misread that he was speaking directly about our chapter at UT.”

  • Complaint filed against Rotnofsky-Mandalapu for not disclosing purchase of snacks, fake roses

    Student Government Executive Alliance candidates Xavier Rotnofsky and Rohit Mandalapu will attend an Election Supervisory Board hearing Wednesday night for failing to claim the purchases of brownies and fake roses on a financial disclosure form.

    The candidates performed a gag at the SG debate last week where they served the other candidates snacks and gifted each candidate a rose.

    Former SG presidential candidate David Maly filed the complaint, saying he inquired about Rotnofsky and Mandalapu’s financial disclosures, specifically regarding the snacks and roses they served at the debate.

    Maly said he also sent emails to ESB Chair Nick Molina, asking whether the alliance had filed receipts of the specific purchases with the ESB.

    “I then inquired about the receipts via email and received an email back Monday night saying they had just been posted,” Maly said in the complaint. “No receipts for brownies or fake roses were included.”

    Rotnofsky and Mandalapu are candidates in a runoff election against Braydon Jones and Kimia Dargahi. Voting takes place Wednesday and Thursday, and results will be announced at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Main Mall.    

  • Viral photo of Fiji pledge rules originally surfaced in 2007, has not been authenticated

    Although a viral photo of a flyer listing alleged Texas Fiji pledge rules resurfaced on news and social media websites after the fraternity hosted a party guests said had a "border patrol" theme last month, no source has ever been able to confirm the authenticity of the 8-year-old image.

    The flyer is titled “Fiji Pledge Rules — Confidential” and lists rules including “no interracial dating” and “no Mexicans.”

    Although the post has sparked outrage in recent weeks, its source was actually a 2007 post on photo-sharing website Flickr.

    Again, the authenticity of the flyer has never been verified.

    The Flickr post is below.

  • National Weather Service issues flash flood watch for Austin

    Austin is under a flash flood warning until 7 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service – and no, classes have not been cancelled.

    According to the weather service website, the heaviest rainfall is expected to occur in the early morning hours Monday and throughout the afternoon. The watch includes the nearby cities of Georgetown, Bastrop and New Braunfels.

    The weather service issues three types of weather warnings: watches, warnings and advisories. Watches are issued when conditions are conducive to more severe weather, warnings when there is a threat to life or property and advisories when there is a specific risk to travelers.

    Most of Central Texas is expected to see 2-4 inches of rainfall, with some isolated pockets of 6 inches.

  • OU fraternity members appear to sing racist chant, reference lynching in viral video

    In a video that went viral Sunday evening, members of the University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity were caught on camera chanting anti-black racial slurs.

    In the 10-second video, members are seen and heard singing “There will never be a n****r SAE,” and “You can hang them from a tree, but they'll never sign with me.”

    Within hours of the video surfacing, the fraternity’s national organization closed the chapter and suspended all members, according to a press release from Brandon Weghorst, associate executive director of communication for SAE.

    “Those members who are responsible for the incident may have their membership privileges revoked permanently,” Weghorst said.

    Brad Cohen, the fraternity’s national president, condemned the video on Twitter.

    “I know I speak for all when I say I’m disgusted and shocked by the video involving our [SAE] chapter at Uof OK,” he wrote. “They will be dealt with.”

    University officials said they are investigating the video to verify that OU students are involved, according to University president David Boren.

    “If OU students are involved, this behavior will not be tolerated and will be addressed very quickly,” Boren said in a statement. “This behavior is contrary to all of our values.”

    The OU chapter of SAE is one of many fraternities that have been accused of racial insensitivity. Last month, Texas Fiji hosted a party guests said had a “border patrol” theme, where attendees wore construction gear, ponchos and sombreros. The Office of the Dean of Students launched an investigation into the event but found the party did not violate any University rules and would not result in any penalty for the fraternity, primarily because the party was held off campus. 

    Last year, SAE chapters nation-wide announced they would eliminate pledging entirely. The national fraternity replaced pledgeship with a program called the "True Gentlemen Experience" with the goal of improving the educational and leadership experience of its members. Read more about the switch here.

    The video of SAE members chanting is below. Warning: The clip contains graphic language and racial slurs.

    For updates on this story, go to oudaily.com or follow The Oklahoma Daily on Twitter.

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