Skip to comments.A Message from Tyrone Speller, Phi Delta Theta Chapter President at the University of Oklahoma
Posted on 03/13/2015 10:21:24 AM PDT by greynolds
A Message From Tyrone Speller, Phi Delta Theta Chapter President At The University Of Oklahoma
This week, The University of Oklahoma has gone from being known as one of the most prestigious schools in the country to being unfairly characterized as a racist institution. The actions of the members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity have deeply saddened me and the rest of the OU community, though I do not feel they represent the views of the entire OU Greek community and the University.
As an African American male in the OU Greek community, I was recently elected president of Phi Delta Theta, the highest leadership role in a chapter that is the fourth largest on campus and a regular contender for awards from our headquarters. In my experience, the majority of the OU Greek community is inclusive of all minorities, and it saddens me to see our Greek community being painted as racist according to the media and even fellow OU students. While I am in no way excusing the actions of the members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, I think it is important that our local community and the rest of our nation do not let one small group overshadow the true nature of Greek life at OU. The actions of the members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon were rooted purely in ignorance and were those of incredibly immature children but it is not representative of todays richly diverse culture in our Greek community.
As a member of the African American student body, I am very disappointed with both the initial incident and many of the subsequent reactions of the media and the student body. I believe that the media has neglected to cover all aspects of the events these past few days. I agree with punishing the students responsible for the chant and hosting demonstrations to encourage equality, but I am also deeply troubled by the students who decide to vandalize the property of other Greek houses or members in retaliation. I have heard of tires being slashed on Greek affiliated cars and indiscriminate threats of violence being sent to Greek members, but these incidents fail to be included in news coverage. All of this is completely uncalled for. When students feel hurt, they should not turn around and do the same thing in response. I had hoped that everyone would have been mature and let the University handle the problem at hand. It is pure and simple, you cannot fight hate with hate.
My experience in the OU Greek community has been an incredible one. This community has helped make me into the person I am today. It has never been about color, creed, sexual preference, etc. This Greek community truly is a family, has welcomed me, and is one of the reasons I attend this university. Going through recruitment, I never once felt out of place not even in my experiences with members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
In regards to inclusiveness within the OU Greek community, other multicultural fraternities and student groups are able to participate alongside the IFC and Panhellenic organizations in many University activities, including homecoming, intramurals, Sooner Scandals, etc., and I encourage them to do so. Being a person of color in a predominately white fraternity has helped me and my fellow brothers learn much from each other by sharing our different backgrounds with one another. But the divisive reactions from many different groups on campus to this current situation has left me feeling as if I am being torn between two major components that make me who I am.
People need to realize that this is not a minorities vs. the Greeks battle. This is not a choice between two competing cultures. We are one student body. The Greek and African American aspects of my life should not be difficult to balance. The outrage and shock at the actions of a few ignorant, small minded people is equally as great amongst the Greeks that I know and respect as well as among my African American brothers. The anger, however, needs to be directed at those few who should be held accountable for their own bad behavior and not at an entire class of people in one broad stroke.
It disappoints me when the good in Greek life does not make headlines and is overshadowed by this horrible story. For example, last week OU students (mainly Greeks) raised over half a million dollars at Soonerthon which is OUs official philanthropy benefiting the local Childrens Hospital. That is a truly remarkable accomplishment. Yet today, all we are talking about is the narrow-minded, hateful views of a few individuals.
I do not believe that OU is racist, nor do I believe that racism is prevalent within the OU Greek community, but it will take time to remove this horrible stain that has been brought upon the University. I hope our nation realizes that OU is and always will be a university of acceptance and equal opportunity. You just have to take the time to focus on the right things.
Tyrone Speller Phi Delta Theta Chapter President Oklahoma Alpha at the University of Oklahoma
This is a reasonable, rational, controlled response.
I'd hire this man.
The actions of those kids was stupid.
The reaction by most of the press and many people was, uh, stoooopider. I listened to David Bose covering for Medved the next day. As I listened to his amazingly righteous indignation I kept catching myself thinking, “Me thinks thou doth protest too much.”
This guy has it right.
A far more intelligent an rational response than that of the OU president.
He has a logical and reasoned response, but he probably has never heard the phrase “never let a perfectly good crisis go to waste.”
media and certain political elements will always seek to distort and propagandize controversial events.
What a remarkable young man. Any other Phi Delts out there agree? Proud to be a Phi!
I saw an interview on local (Houston) tv with a young black man who is in SAE at U of Houston. He said he had always felt welcome in the organization and said he loved his “brothers” in SAE. So, apparently, UofH chapter didn’t hold the same views as those at ou
YOUNG PEOPLE ARE KNOWN FOR DOING SOME STUPID THINGS. IT IS HOW WE LEARN AND GROW. MAKES A STRONG IMPRESSION, NO DOUBT THIS IS THE CASE HERE.
WHO AMONG US HAS NEVER DONE A TRULY STUPID THING?
FORGIVE THEIR RIDICULOUS STUPIDITY.
All the liberal colleges are having problems with the thug culture that festers while the education level crumbles.
I mean, Stop yelling!
Ditto that. See Saul Alinsky. The guy was pure evil, like another pure evil SOB, Joseph Goebbels, he was a propaganda genius. Truth did not matter to either.
I'm sure if Alinsky were still around today. he would not have a problem with 5 or 6 million Americans being sent to the gas chambers if that is what it took to reach his socialist goals.
Here’s a story and video of a black alum of SAE at OU ...
I stumbled on it channel surfing earlier today. Somebody asked on an early thread if there ever was a black SAE but I cannot find the comment.
Thanks for the link
Yes, I was surprised at seeing it on CNN too. I thought about posting it as another article about this “scandal” but as a brother SAE of the young man, I’ve heard more than I care to about it. I feel for all the brothers in that OU chapter who’ve lost their fraternity. The same thing happened to my chapter but for a different reason a few years ago. I was a charter member of that chapter over 50 years ago. Some of my best friends today were brothers during that brief time in college who remain in touch after all those years tho scattered far and wide. Those kids will miss that experience due to stupidity of a few drunken dumbasses on a bus with girls with cell phones. That chapter was not well served by its alumni advisers nor was mine. Gentlemanly conduct has been job #1 at Sigma Alpha Epsilon since its founding in 1856. I’m hoping for BIG changes in SAE National as a result of this scandal. Also hoping for other more critical headlines to make this one old news.
Here’s the latest statement from SAE National HQ ...
I post the link here for future reference.
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