Louisiana Tech University says it has no knowledge nor record of fraternity members repeating racist chants there, despite a former student’s claims to a national media outlet this week.
“This type of reprehensible and destructive behavior is not tolerated from anyone attending or associated with our institution,” the university said in a statement to The Advocate on Tuesday.
SAE was thrust into the national spotlight this week after a video went viral of the group’s University of Oklahoma chapter performing a racist chant. The national organization and the university’s president agreed to shut the chapter on Monday. SAE national has condemned the Oklahoma chapter’s chant and denied that the racist chant is part of its tradition.
Former Louisiana Tech student and Sigma Alpha Epsilon pledge Dylan Merriman told Buzzfeed News that he witnessed a similar racist chant at an SAE party at Tech in 2010.
“I can’t remember exactly what he chanted/drunkenly said but it was similar to the video that has been on social media,” Merriman told Buzzfeed.
The Oklahoma fraternity members are shown in the viral video chanting, “You can hang ’em from a tree, but he can never sign with me. There will never be a n---- in SAE.”
Tech said it does not have any report of the incident having taken place in 2010, but condemned the alleged incident.
“Louisiana Tech works diligently and with all members of our campus community to create an engaging culture and a safe environment, and we will fight to preserve that opportunity for all students, faculty and staff,” the university said in its written statement.
Also in Louisiana, SAE has been repeatedly suspended from LSU in recent decades.
The fraternity most recently was suspended from the LSU campus in 2012 following allegations of hazing and harassment.
According to a report from The Reveille, the LSU student newspaper, SAE was barred from requesting reinstatement until Jan. 1 of this year. According to LSU, as of Tuesday, the group had not petitioned for reinstatement.
SAE also was suspended from LSU in 1997 after a student died following a binge drinking episode.