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Ole Miss Fraternity Chapter Shuttered After Racist Prank

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Detailed view of the exterior of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on the Ole Miss campus. Stacy Revereā€”Getty Images

Sigma Phi Epsilon is closed at the University of Mississippi after three members were expelled on suspicion of tying a noose around a statue of a civil rights icon, who was the institution's first black student

The University of Mississippi’s Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity chapter has been closed after three members are believed to have hung a noose around a bronze statue of civil rights icon James Meredith, the first black student admitted to the Oxford-based school.

“The decision is not a result of any individual incident, but a response to newly discovered, ongoing behavior that includes incidents of hazing, underage drinking, alcohol abuse, and failure to comply with the university and fraternity’s codes of conduct,” the fraternity said in a statement Thursday.

“Though the incident involving the James Meredith statue several months ago did not directly result in the chapter’s closure, it did mark the beginning of an intensified period of review.”

In February, a person or persons placed a noose around the campus statue and left behind a Confederate flag. In the wake of the incident, the fraternity decided to expel three students.

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