Two weeks ago, a fraternity made national news after a video was posted on social media venues, depicting members singing a highly offensive, racist chant.
One day after the video was posted, the President of the institution released a statement:
To those who have misused their free speech in such a reprehensible way, I have a message for you. You are disgraceful. You have violated all that we stand for. You should not have the privilege of calling yourselves "Sooners." Real Sooners are not racist. Real Sooners are not bigots. Real Sooners believe in equal opportunity. Real Sooners treat all people with respect. Real Sooners love each other and take care of each other like family members.
Effective immediately, all ties and affiliations between this University and the local SAE chapter are hereby severed. I direct that the house be closed and that members will remove their personal belongings from the house by midnight tomorrow. Those needing to make special arrangements for positions shall contact the Dean of Students.
All of us will redouble our efforts to create the strongest sense of family and community. We vow that we will be an example to the entire country of how to deal with this issue. There must be zero tolerance for racism everywhere in our nation.
- President Boren
The topic of prejudice is deemed, by most, a very sensitive subject. However, as employees of UTSA (a great university that was founded on providing access to education to the area community and is extremely diverse), it is our Responsibility to have Engaging conversations with our students, co-workers, and friends regarding these incidents. What other setting in the world provides an environment such as ours to discuss these sensitive topics in a calm and collective manner?
As Student Affairs employees, we have made a commitment to develop Active Leaders within our community. Our division expects us to encourage our students to think Critically in the decisions they make while balancing a Healthy well-being, spiritually, physically, and mentally.
While the incident that happened was distressing, let us take a moment to commit ourselves to our students, community, and our future generations. We must REACH out to others if we become aware of concerning behavior – let’s work together to discuss how we can educate and counsel our student leaders, and acknowledge that it is our obligation to model UTSA’s mission of “embracing multicultural traditions and serve as a center for intellectual and creative resources.”
Now and forever, I am a Roadrunner.
Submitted by —
Orientation & Transition Programs
Any questions or comments? Please send us an email at VPSA@utsa.edu.