Oklahoma Fraternity Members Learned Racist Chant During Cruise, School Says

The University of Oklahoma's chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon has been disbanded.

The University of Oklahoma's chapter of SAE was closed earlier this month after the recording was released online. Two students were subsequently expelled from the school.

The university launched an investigation into the use of the chant, and school president David Boren announced today school officials had found that the 2011 cruise, an annual event, was the first known contact that their students had with the song.

"While there is no indication that the chant was part of the formal teaching of the national organization, it does appear that the chant was widely known and informally shared amongst members on the leadership cruise," Boren wrote in his letter.

It was then brought back to the school's chapter where it was shared with members and pledges for the past four years.

"Over time, the chant was formalized in the local SAE chapter and was taught to pledges as part of the formal and informal pledgeship process," the university's report states, going on to describe it as part of the "institutionalized culture of the chapter."

According to the SAE website, the 2011 cruise was scheduled to be held on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship over four days in August. The annual cruise departs out of Miami and, more than 700 undergraduates are expected to attend this summer's trip.

SAE executive director Blaine Ayers said that their larger investigation is underway and they will share the full results when it is complete.

"Our current findings at the University of Oklahoma are similar to those announced on Friday by University of Oklahoma President David Boren," Ayers said in a statement. "But our investigation to date shows no evidence the song was widely shared across the broader organization."

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