What parents need to know about campus Greek life after racist SAE video

(WFLA) – Outrage over a University of Oklahoma fraternity’s racist chant circulating on social media is spreading nationwide.

The 9-second video shows members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon chanting, “There will never be a n**** SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me.  There will never be a n**** SAE.”

University of Oklahoma President David Boren said as part of the school’s “zero tolerance” policy, two students who look “leadership roles” in the chant were expelled.  As the investigation continues, more students could be disciplined.

How and if the incident will impact fraternities nationwide will tell with time, but Florida Southern Lamda Chi Alpha member Connor Huey-Burns fears Greek life everywhere will suffer from it.

“It sheds a bad light on us. It’s unfortunate this came from our generation, “ Huey-Burns said.

Fraternity and sorority students interviewed Tuesday said they joined because of the brotherhood and sisterhood aspect, along with philanthropy. Florida Southern College students in Greek organizations also have a higher cumulative grade point average than the overall student body.  Many of them are involved in leadership positions on campus.

The Oklahoma incident comes to light as high school students are receiving college acceptance letters and planning their upcoming roles in campus life.

WFLA-TV found some ways parents can help their children research whether Greek life is good for them and which sorority or fraternity to focus on.

Kyle Fedler, Florida Southern’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, recommends looking up the organizations represented at your child’s school and reading about their backgrounds.  Also, take advantage of information provided by the school.

“We offer pamphlets as to what the organization’s involved in, our anti-hazing policies, alcohol policies,” Fedler said.

“If the sorority or fraternity is not involved in leadership activities or philanthropic activities, that may be a bit of a red flag,” he added.

“It’s also important to look at the diversity in the students as well,” Fedler said.  “Are there students from different areas of life, different majors?”

Fedler advised parents to find out whether the fraternity or sorority has student housing and who operates it.

“(With) college and university owned housing there is a lot more oversight and more safety precautions,” he said.

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