UNC Charlotte Fraternities, Sororities Work to Learn From OU Racism Scandal

CHARLOTTE - Applying the latest headlines to the day's lesson plans, fraternity and sorority members at UNC Charlotte are taking away all they can from the University of Oklahoma racism scandal. It was the hot topic during Tuesday’s Greek Leadership Values and Ethics class.

"What we can do is take action from this point forward," said Asst. Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Bonny Shade, while leading the group discussion.

Tuesday, OU expelled two students after a controversial cell phone video surfaced over the weekend, showing members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter chanting racially offensive words on a bus while celebrating its Founders Day. Both the university and SAE organization were quick to deactivate the chapter.

SAE has a chapter on Charlotte’s campus with roughly 40 members. While those students have been told not to speak with the media about the Oklahoma situation, school officials say the NC-BETA chapter is a shining example of the university's Greek community.

"To cookie-cutter one organization and think that every chapter is like that would be really false," said Michelle Guobadia, Director Of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

She says chapters must follow strict rules from both their national offices and the university to remain in good standing. Fraternities and sororities must also follow 14 basic requisites to stay on campus. One of those includes providing education programming around diversity at least once a year.

"Here's an opportunity for dialogue, said Guobadia. “To have real conversations about racism in our country, racism on college campuses."

While Charlotte has had to suspend chapters in the past for hazing and alcohol-related offenses, she says the cases were never as serious as what’s playing out at OU.