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Oklahoma's Sigma Alpha Epsilon: Black Almunus Says Frat Once Embraced Diversity

Jonathon Davis, a Sigma Alpha Epsilon member from 1998-2002, said "somewhere along the line, everything went off the rails."
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The fallout from a racist chant made by members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Oklahoma has one alumnus comparing the offensive incident to "getting punched in the stomach."

That's because Jonathon Davis, who is black, says his time with the fraternity from 1998 to 2002 was a positive and proud experience.

"We did embrace diversity, and somewhere along the line, everything went off the rails," Davis told NBC Denver affiliate KUSA.

He enjoyed his time there so much, he added, that when some of his Sigma Alpha Epsilon brothers encouraged him to move to Denver after school, he did.

But the university's local chapter has come under fire for an online video that surfaced this week showing members singing a chant that included a racial epithet against blacks. University of Oklahoma officials moved swiftly to force members out of the fraternity house, and said Tuesday that two students with leadership roles in the chant have been expelled. Others could face similar punishments, officials have said.

Davis said he's upset that his fraternity is now disbanded, disowned and disgraced — but understands why. "I think it’s sad that the option isn’t even there to go back and relive those memories," he said, adding, "That house has turned into a symbol for modern-day racism."


— Erik Ortiz