2 University of Oklahoma students expelled over racist video

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2 University of Oklahoma students expelled over racist video
NORMAN, OK- MARCH 11: Students walk between classes in front of the Bizzell Memorial Library at the University of Oklahoma Wednesday on March 11, 2015 in Norman, Oklahoma. Video showing Sigma Alpha Epsilon members singing a racist chant while traveling on a tour bus went viral after being uploaded to the internet. SAE's national chapter has since suspended the students involved and the University of Oklahoma President David Boren has terminated the fraternity's affiliation with the school. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
A video of University of Oklahoma members engaging in a racist chant outraged and angered students across campus but has also started a dialogue about racism that many hope will lead to change at the school.
Darmita White and about two-dozen others protests outside the family home of a former University of Oklahoma Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity member Parker Rice, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in Dallas. Rice and several other fraternity members were seen on video chanting a racist song. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
University of Oklahoma students rally outside the now closed University of Oklahoma's Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house during a rally in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 10, 2015. The university's president expelled two students Tuesday after he said they were identified as leaders of a racist chant captured on video during a fraternity event. A moving truck can be seen at rear. Fraternity members were given a midnight Tuesday deadline to be moved out of the house. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
University of Oklahoma President David Boren speaks during a news conference, addressing racism on campus on Monday, March. 9, 2015 in Norman, Okla. Boren lambasted members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, a fraternity who participated in a racist chant caught on video and ordered that they vacate their house by Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Nick Oxford)
University of Oklahoma students march to the now closed University of Oklahoma's Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house during a rally in reaction to an incident in which members of a fraternity were caught on video chanting a racial slur, in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Maintenance worker Danny Feland hauls off the letters that were removed from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house at the University of Oklahoma on Monday, March 9, 2015 in Norman, Okla. University President David Boren severed the school's ties with a national fraternity on Monday and ordered that its on-campus house be shuttered after several members took part in a racist chant caught in an online video. (AP Photo/Nick Oxford)
Facility workers removed the letters from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house at the University of Oklahoma on Monday, March. 9, 2015 in Norman, Okla. University President David Boren severed the school's ties with a national fraternity on Monday and ordered that its on-campus house be shuttered after several members took part in a racist chant caught in an online video. (AP Photo/Nick Oxford)
Maintenance worker Danny Feland hauls off the letters that were removed from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house at the University of Oklahoma on Monday, March. 9, 2015 in Norman, Okla.University President David Boren severed the school's ties with a national fraternity on Monday and ordered that its on-campus house be shuttered after several members took part in a racist chant caught in an online video. (AP Photo/Nick Oxford)
University of Oklahoma students hold a sign to be carried to the now closed University of Oklahoma's Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house during a rally in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 10, 2015. The university's president expelled two students Tuesday after he said they were identified as leaders of a racist chant captured on video during a fraternity event. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
University of Oklahoma students march to the now closed University of Oklahoma's Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house during a rally in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 10, 2015. The university's president expelled two students Tuesday after he said they were identified as leaders of a racist chant captured on video during a fraternity event. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
University of Oklahoma junior Brooke Aston, right, of Rockwall, Texas, adds her fingerprint to a sign to be carried to the now closed University of Oklahoma's Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house during a rally in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 10, 2015. The university's president expelled two students Tuesday after he said they were identified as leaders of a racist chant captured on video during a fraternity event. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Two men load a couch from the now closed University of Oklahoma's Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house into a moving truck, in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 10, 2015. University President David Boren expelled two students Tuesday after he said they were identified as leaders of a racist chant captured on video during a fraternity event. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
The Sigma Alpha Epsilon house at the University of Oklahoma on Monday, March. 9, 2015 in Norman, Oklahoma. The SAE fraternity has been banned from campus after a video surfaced of members shouting and singing racial slurs. President David Boren of the University of Oklahoma severed the school's ties with a national fraternity on Monday and ordered that its on-campus house be shuttered after several members took part in a racist chant caught in an online video. (AP Photo/Nick Oxford)
Students move their furniture out of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house at the University of Oklahoma on Monday, March. 9, 2015 in Norman, Okla. President David Boren of the University of Oklahoma severed the school's ties with a national fraternity on Monday and ordered that its on-campus house be shuttered after several members took part in a racist chant caught in an online video. (AP Photo/Nick Oxford)
Students move their furniture out of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house at the University of Oklahoma on Monday, March. 9, 2015 in Norman, Okla. President David Boren of the University of Oklahoma severed the school's ties with a national fraternity on Monday and ordered that its on-campus house be shuttered after several members took part in a racist chant caught in an online video. (AP Photo/Nick Oxford)
Graffiti proclaiming "Tear it down" is painted on the side of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house at the University of Oklahoma on Monday, March. 9, 2015 in Norman, Okla. President David Boren of the University of Oklahoma severed the school's ties with a national fraternity on Monday and ordered that its on-campus house be shuttered after several members took part in a racist chant caught in an online video. (AP Photo/Nick Oxford)
People walk on the Oval at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 10, 2015. Two students have been expelled from the university following an incident in which members of a fraternity were caught on video chanting a racial slur. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
University of Oklahoma President David Boren talks with the media before the start of a Board of Regents meeting in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 10, 2015. Two students have been expelled from the University following an incident in which members of a fraternity were caught on video chanting a racial slur. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Area residents look on as protesters march outside the family home of a former University of Oklahoma Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity member Parker Rice, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in Dallas. Rice and several other fraternity members were seen on video chanting a racist song. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
This photo shows the family home of former University of Oklahoma Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity member Levi Pettit, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in Dallas. Two students have been expelled from the university following an incident in which members of a fraternity were caught on video chanting a racial slur. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Charletteria Mathis, second from left, Albeta Wellington, far right, and her son Mark Wallace, 5, protest outside the family home of a former University of Oklahoma Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity member Parker Rice, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in Dallas. Rice and several other fraternity members were seen on video chanting a racist song. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
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NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - The University of Oklahoma's president expelled two students Tuesday after he said they were identified as leaders of a racist chant captured on video during a fraternity event.

University President David Boren said in a statement the two students were dismissed for creating a "hostile learning environment for others." Their names were not released.

The video posted online shows several people on a bus participating in a chant that included a racial slur, referenced lynching and indicated black students would never be admitted to OU's chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

Boren acted swiftly after the video surfaced late Sunday, severing ties with the fraternity and ordering its house shuttered Monday and announcing the expulsions Tuesday.

"I hope that students involved in this incident will learn from this experience and realize that it is wrong to use words to hurt, threaten, and exclude other people," he said.

Boren said the university is working to identify other students involved in the chant, who may also face discipline.

Windows at the fraternity were boarded up and moving vans were parked outside Tuesday. Members have until midnight to remove their belongings. The Greek letters have already been removed from the side of the sprawling, sand-colored brick house on a street lined with fraternity and sorority houses just west of the center of campus.

Markeshia Lyon, a junior from Oklahoma City and one of about 1,400 black students who attend the university's Norman campus, said the mostly segregated Greek culture at OU is partly to blame for creating an environment where racism can thrive.

"That's something that's passed down, and that's something that needs to change," Lyon said.

She also said the video has sparked intense interest in addressing racial tensions on campus.

The university, located in the southern Oklahoma City suburb of Norman, has about 27,000 students, about 5 percent of whom are black.

On Monday, a top high school football recruit withdrew his commitment to attend the university after seeing the video.

North Mesquite High School football star Jean Delance, a top offensive lineman prospect, told KTVT television and KRLD-AM in Dallas-Fort Worth that he spoke Sunday night with coach Bob Stoops, but wasn't told about the incident.

"I'm very disappointed in the coaches not letting me know," Delance told KRLD. "But that was just heart-breaking right there."

The Oklahoma football team decided to protest rather than practice Monday. At the team's indoor practice facility, coach Bob Stoops led the way as players, joined by athletic director Joe Castiglione, walked arm-in-arm, wearing black.

Boren attended a pre-dawn rally organized by students Monday morning and lambasted the fraternity members involved as "disgraceful" and called their behavior "reprehensible."

"This is not who we are," Boren said at a midday news conference. "I'd be glad if they left. I might even pay the bus fare for them."

National leaders of Sigma Alpha Epsilon said an investigation confirmed members took part in the chant and announced they would close the local chapter. The national group said it was "embarrassed" by the "unacceptable and racist" behavior.

The fraternity also said in a statement late Monday that the chant was not a part of fraternity tradition.

Boren said members of the fraternity were "not totally forthcoming." It's unclear who recorded the video, when it was recorded and who initially posted it online. Boren suggested it was likely taken by another student who didn't agree with what was being chanted.

OU Unheard, a black student group on campus, posted a link to the video after someone anonymously called it to the group's attention Sunday afternoon, communications director Alexis Hall said Monday.

"We immediately needed to share that with the OU student body," said Hall, a junior. "For students to say they're going to lynch an entire group of people. ... It's disgusting."

The video appears to have been taken on a charter bus, with at least one of the chanting young men wearing a tuxedo.

Telephone and email messages left Monday with several members of the fraternity seeking comment on the video were not returned. Other members declined to comment.

___

Associated Press writer Allen Reed contributed to this report from Little Rock, Arkansas.





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