Fraternity: Investigations underway in Texas, Louisiana

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Fraternity: Investigations underway in Texas, Louisiana
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 Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity said Thursday it was investigating racism allegations at universities in Louisiana and Texas after hearing that young men at two schools sang or knew of the same racist chant caught on video in Oklahoma last weekend.

Spokesman Brandon Weghorst said the chapter at the University of Texas at Austin was being "fully cooperative" and that a probe at Louisiana Tech in Ruston was in its early stages. He said no new allegations had been substantiated.

A nine-second video recorded last weekend caught members of the fraternity's University of Oklahoma chapter singing a song that used a derogatory term for black people and referenced lynching. University president David Boren ordered the SAE house shuttered and expelled two students identified as ringleaders.

"We had no idea of this type of behavior was going on underground," Weghorst said Thursday. "If we don't know about it, we can't stop it."

The board of trustees and alumni of the University of Oklahoma's SAE chapter released a statement Wednesday night acknowledging the chant surfaced at the chapter "three to four years ago and was not immediately and totally stopped. It should have been."

At the University of Texas in Austin, the president of the local SAE had previously issued a statement denying that his chapter had ever performed a similar chant. Luke Cone said he could "speak on the behalf of my fraternity brothers that we are all profoundly distressed" about the language in the video.

The SAE chapter at Louisiana Tech did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Thursday.

A group of black University of Oklahoma students formed following a fatal police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, last summer linked to the racist video on Sunday, saying the community needed to be aware. The video, in which the singers said black men would never be admitted to Sigma Alpha Epsilon, was the subject of a number of rallies, including a student-led one before dawn on Monday and a Wednesday night town hall-style forum.

"Just the students coming together has been a positive for me," said Alexis Hall, a 20-year-old junior from Houston and a spokeswoman for the group Unheard. "I think this is sparking a university-wide movement of: 'Hey, we need to start making some changes. We're going to improve things and make it better for all of our students.'"

Among the group's grievances are low numbers of black faculty and administrators, poor retention rates among black students and a lack of programs aimed at supporting black students.

OU President David Boren, who booted the two freshmen for creating a hostile learning environment, said he appreciated Unheard's involvement.

"They met with me. They had some very positive suggestions," Boren said. He said their proposals included greater representation of black students at the university's orientation camp and on various committees, to ensure that "the whole range of diversity of our campus is represented."

Boren announced the creation of a new position - vice president for the university community. He said Thursday he would meet with the university's football captains - the team refused to practice in protest - and said his vice president of student affairs, Clarke Stroud, would investigate each individual officer of the fraternity to determine their level of responsibility and to make recommendations on appropriate disciplinary action.

A Dallas-area advocacy group, the Next Generation Action Network, protested Wednesday at the family home of Parker Rice, who has apologized for participating in the chant, calling it a "horrible mistake" and "a devastating lesson." About 20 demonstrators marched in front of his North Dallas home chanting, "Racism is taught," and, "Racism is a choice."

Meanwhile, the parents of another student in the video, Levi Pettit, released a statement saying he too had "made a horrible mistake, and will live with the consequences forever." Pettit also is from the Dallas area.

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