I cannot believe that in 2016, we still have stories like this arising from college campuses across the country. I’d imagine that by going to college, people seek to broaden their intellectual horizons and eventually learn that using hateful language is harmful and wrong. Yet, I am proved wrong time and time again. It’s disheartening and genuinely upsetting.
The Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity at the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s campus was recently suspended when a member reported racial insensitivity and discrimination.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the unidentified member claimed that other fraternity brothers frequently used racial, anti-gay and anti-Semitic slurs towards him since 2014. He additionally said that during a Halloween party back in 2014, another member called him a racial slur and choked him until other brothers separated the two.
The UW Madison student-led Student Organizations Committee ruled that SAE was violating its nondiscrimination requirements and ultimately suspended them until November 1, 2016. Fraternity members are required to attend diversity, inclusion and mental health training as part of the suspension.
The leaders of the fraternity also have to meet with the university Chancellor Rebecca Blank to figure out how to prevent similar occurrences in the future before the fraternity’s suspension is lifted.
“The conduct in this situation must not be repeated,” Blank wrote in a letter to SAE’s executive director.
This is not the first chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon that has had discrimination issues. SAE at Oklahoma University was shut down after a video surfaced of fraternity brothers yelling a racist chant on a bus.
The national fraternity apologized for the behavior of the chapter. It additionally stated that any type of discriminatory behavior is “inconsistent with their expectations.”