By Rachel Leland
Baylor does not intend to investigate any of the fraternities on the university’s campus in response to the video of SAE members at the University of Oklahoma making racist chants.
Matt Burchett, director of Student Activities, said the university will not be looking into any Greek organizations because there are no specific complaints about any of the chapters.
“We will not arbitrarily investigate an organization unless we have information that would lead us to do an inquiry into that organization,” Burchett said.
Student Activities does intend to bring up the video at the next Greek Presidents Roundtable, Burchett said. Greek Presidents Roundtable is an event where Student Activities meets with the presidents of fraternities and sororities that have chapters at Baylor.
“Any time we receive an allegation, we began inquiries into organizations’ operations,” Burchett said. “With that being said, we have measures of accountability that help with that.”
The measures include faculty advisers, emails and training, he said.
According to the Baylor Student Organizations Policies and Procedures Guide, Student Activities typically addresses minor organizational violations.
If the nature of the violation is more serious, then review can be referred to the Student Organization Judicial Board.
The guide details that while Baylor prefers that violations be resolved from within the organization, the university reserves the right to investigate, and if necessary, determine sanctions for the organization.
In response to the video, University of Oklahoma’s president David Boren declared that the ties between the SAE chapter and the University were “severed.” The chapter was asked to disband and members living in the house were ordered to remove their belongings and leave the house by midnight the following day.
Two students who led the chants were expelled from the University.
The president released a statement with a stern message towards those in the video and promised that the University of Oklahoma would be a model for community and racial justice.
“All of us will redouble our efforts to create the strongest sense of family and community. We vow that we will be an example to the entire country of how to deal with this issue,” Boren said. “There must be zero tolerance for racism everywhere in our nation.”
Boren defended his decision at a later press conference.
“Any time there are racist remarks made we must speak up as Americans if we’re going to put an end to this kind of nonsense all across the country and by taking a zero tolerance policy,” Boren said.
NAACP CEO and President Cornell William Brooks said he applauded President Boren’s actions and asked university presidents across the country to address similar accidents in kind.
“We commend the students, faculty, and staff who have denounced the behavior of this fraternity, but we cannot stop there,” Brooks said. “We invite them and anyone else across the country that is against racial intolerance, to stand with us in the ongoing fight against all forms of racial injustice from college campuses to our neighborhoods to our workplaces.”
The University of Oklahoma is not alone in its scrutiny of SAE. According to a statement from the office of UT Austin’s president, Bill Powers, the University of Texas is investigating its SAE chapter in response to rumors that the fraternity was heard using a similar chant.
McKinney freshman Annette Christie, education chair of Baylor’s NAACP chapter said she the thought the president’s actions were appropriate.
“The racism in the SAE video is derogatory and very offensive to people of color,” Christie said. “Our organization is structured to inform youth such as the members of SAE and the youth at large that these types of videos are hurtful and should not be tolerated.”
At a meeting Monday, leaders in Baylor’s National Pan-Hellenic Council chapters took time to express their concerns about the video.
“I can’t even say I was surprised. It was one of those typical things,” said junior Jordan Campbell, an Alpha Phi Alpha member.
Many attendees said they had heard rumors that the similar chants were heard at other SAE chapters.
“I think it is a systematic trend,” Brooks said.“This is not the first time the fraternity has made racial slurs or committed racial acts.”
No member of Baylor’s SAE chapter could be reached for comment.