Archived: Fraternity Ousted Over Racist Chant Lawyers Up

By Michael Nam


The University of Oklahoma chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon has hired a very high-profile lawyer after being kicked off campus in the aftermath of the racist-chant video coming to light.

The fraternity has engaged the services of Stephen Jones, best known as the lead defense attorney for Timothy McVeigh during the Oklahoma City bombing trial. In a press conference, Jones stated that the preference is to avoid litigation in the matter, but suing the school, and potentially President David Boren, isn’t off the table.

Jones told affiliate NewsChannel 4 in Oklahoma that his clients were angered over the summary closing of their house and having their entire fraternity labeled by Boren as racists.

“Obviously there are issues about First Amendment rights, due process and real estate issues, but we’re still gathering documents,” said Jones.

Interestingly, Jones may be headed for a showdown with Boren for a second time. Jones faced Boren in an unsuccessful bid for a U.S. Senate seat in 1990.

On Wednesday, Boren announced the creation of a vice president of diversity to help improve activities to make university life feel more inclusive and to aid in diversifying the pool of applicants for faculty and staff positions, according to NewsOK.com.

<blockquote>Boren said he decided to create the position two months ago and has had private and confidential conversations with an “outstanding” Black candidate.</blockquote>

Meanwhile, the OU football team released a statement and held a silent protest on the field. “The chant was not invented by the two that led it, but was taught to underclassmen by people of higher authority. As a team, we have come to a consensus that, in any organization, the leadership is responsible for the culture created and, in this case, encouraged,” the statement read in part.

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