GW’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon will be included in the national organization’s review of all chapters, but an official for the fraternity confirmed that GW’s group is in good standing.
Brandon Weghorst, the associate executive director of communications for Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national chapter, said in an email Tuesday that “there are no current allegations or incidents regarding the GW chapter, and it is both a diverse and inclusive group of men.”
Two members of the University of Oklahoma’s chapter of the fraternity were expelled and the chapter was closed after the group was caught on video singing a racist chant earlier this month. The fraternity’s national executive director then unveiled a “four-pronged initiative to combat instances of racial discrimination and insensitivity among its members,” according to a fraternity release.
Those plans also include a “comprehensive review” of every chapter and colony of the fraternity nationwide in order to “determine if any currently engage in racially offensive or derogatory behaviors,” according to the release. Sigma Alpha Epsilon will release the findings for all chapters once the review is complete.
Dion Thomas, the president of GW’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, said in an email that discrimination and racial bias “has no place in our organization and will not be tolerated.”
“Our priority remains squarely focused on making sure we continue to proactively address this issue in a way that reflects our zero-tolerance for any kind of discrimination and upholds the values of our fraternity,” he said in the email.
GW Interfraternity Council President Tim Stackhouse said the organization “supports all measures of diversity,” and that Sigma Alpha Epsilon “has been a valued member of our campus.”
“They have been a leader in inclusion on our campus and are an organization that welcomes individuals of all backgrounds,” he said.
Gregory Parks, an assistant law professor at Wake Forest University who studies historically black sororities and fraternities, said nationwide there are steps fraternities and sororities can take to ameliorate racial divides on campus.
“Quite often, people don’t want to talk about these types of topics. They could expect or mandate chapters to discuss and address issues like that,” he said.