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Sigma Alpha Epsilon Prepping for Hearings for University of Oklahoma Members

The suspended men "will have an opportunity to defend themselves and present information or facts for review," the SAE national headquarters said.
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Members of the University of Oklahoma's disbanded Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter are being given a chance to appear at hearings to "defend themselves" in front of the national headquarters.

The more than 100 members of the school's chapter are currently suspended after a video surfaced online this week showing some members singing a racist chant that included an epithet used against black people and referenced lynching.

The national fraternity's officials said in a statement Saturday that the suspended men "will have an opportunity to defend themselves and present information or facts for review."

"As part of the proceedings, the commissioners will recommend to the board of directors one of several penalties, which include retaining the current suspension until their graduation or expulsion from the fraternity," officials added.

The University of Oklahoma swiftly shut down the fraternity, and national Sigma Alpha Epsilon officials suspended the entire chapter. Two members who officials said played leadership roles in the singing were also expelled from the school.

The chapter hired a high-profile lawyer, Stephen Jones, who said during a news conference Friday that he wasn't looking to pursue legal action, but rather, wants to make sure the fraternity brothers' rights were being protected.

In Saturday's statement, Sigma Alpha Epsilon national headquarters said that each member will present their case in front of a "special trial commission composed of impartial alumni."

Jones did not say Friday that he intended to sue Sigma Alpha Epsilon's national headquarters and said he would rather not get into a legal battle with the school, although he believed University of Oklahoma President David Boren's decision to shutter the fraternity may have been "a little over-broad."

University spokeswoman Catherine Bishop declined to respond directly to Jones' comments. She told NBC News that the school is "continuing its investigation into the recent events relating to SAE and is seeking to learn all the relevant facts and circumstances surrounding those events."


— Elisha Fieldstadt