Racism is no joke. It’s disgusting, and pathetic, and disappointing that it still exists in the world. And SAE Nationals is proving that their zero tolerance policy for this type of behavior is absolutely no laughing matter.
According to NBC News, in light of the horrific chant that came out not long ago, SAE Nationals are taking the matter seriously, as they should. Even though the two identifiable members in the video were suspended, and the current 163 members of the Oklahoma chapter have had their standing within the national organization suspended, the national board of Sigma Alpha Epsilon does not feel that is enough. National Executive Director Blaine Ayers spoke with reporters:
“The chant in the video is ugly. It is demoralizing and absolutely counter to the values of SAE. Now we must begin the task of seeking forgiveness and taking steps to make sure that this never happens again.”
Ayers insists he has never heard this song, and that it does not exist in any of the official songbooks, so the national board will now conduct an investigation of all 237 chapters of SAE in an effort to identify and thwart any other behavior indicative of racism. Further, the organization has created a national hotline where active and new members of the fraternity can report “inappropriate, offensive or illegal” activity.
All 15,000 members of SAE will undergo diversity training which will also be a part of new members’ training period henceforth. Ayers admits that the national organization does have a disproportionate number of white to non-white members, with only three percent being black, and they are looking to put forth an initiative to change this.
Coming out of something truly, truly awful, I think this is a great step for SAE and for Greek life. It would certainly benefit the other organizations in IFC and Panhellenic to follow in SAE’s footsteps and offer diversity training before they have any issues. Change has to start from within and in order to make sure people see us for the good, not the bad, we have to get rid of all the bad..
[via NBC News]