FHSU fraternity community responds to University of Oklahoma incident

03/11/15 jt/ks

HAYS, Kan. -- On Monday, a video became public that showed members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Oklahoma chanting racist remarks. As a result, the national fraternity headquarters and the University of Oklahoma ordered the OU chapter of the fraternity to be disbanded effective immediately.

As a result of this incident, members of fraternities at Fort Hays State University engaged in a conversation about the values their organizations are founded upon and the importance of maintaining inclusive environments on the FHSU campus. All members agreed that racism and discrimination have no place in our community. The FHSU Interfraternity Council composed the following statement:

"The Interfraternity Council at Fort Hays State University does not tolerate behavior that contradicts the values of each of its member fraternities. Our members feel the incident at the University of Oklahoma displays the type of behavior that goes against the values of fraternity life. When members are initiated into a Greek organization, they commit themselves to upholding the values on which each organization was founded. The North American Interfraternity Conference 'encourages each member fraternity to continually intensify efforts to educate members in fraternal principles and ideals regarding positive human interaction.' Our local chapters, including Sigma Alpha Epsilon, exemplify their values daily as they interact with others in their chapters, on campus and within the community. As a fraternity community, we regularly discuss our values in our council meetings, retreats and in our everyday activities. We will continue to strive to create an inclusive environment where all individuals feel welcomed into fraternity life at Fort Hays State University."

Fraternity and Sorority Life at Fort Hays State University represents more than 200 students in seven different chapters. At FHSU, 93 percent of fraternity/sorority members are involved in at least one other campus or community organization. Members raise nearly $10,000 for charity and complete approximately 5,000 hours of community service annually. The community is committed to the values of Academic, Leadership, Social, Empowerment and Service.

For additional information or questions, contact Jacob Ternes, coordinator of student involvement and Greek life, at 785-628-4664.

03/11/15 jt/ks
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