Correction appended, March 30
The racist chant by members of a University of Oklahoma fraternity caught on video on March 7 was part of the institutional culture at the chapter, an investigation by the school released Friday revealed.
The chant, which included at east one reference to lynching, was sung by fraternity members on a chartered bus on the way to the chapter’s annual Founder’s Day event in Oklahoma City.
The university took swift action after the video of the chant emerged, expelling two of the students caught singing it. Sigma Alpha Epsilon also quickly closed the chapter. As part of the university’s response, the student affairs office investigated the origins of the chant and determined it was an ingrained part of the life and culture of the SAE chapter at OU.
According to the investigation, members of the Oklahoma chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon learned the chant on a leadership cruise sponsored by the national SAE organization four years ago. The chant was then taught to pledges as part of the formal pledging process. As part of the chapter’s recruitment on Founder’s Day, about a dozen high school students were on the bus during the chant.
Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly identified the school that investigated the racist chant by members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. It is the University of Oklahoma.