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Jay Vinekar's Full Statement on SAE video

{}A personal note to those who know of my affiliation with SAE, the particular chapter in question, and how hard we worked to found a solid and honorable house at OU in 1995. It saddens me beyond description to have to write this on the very anniversary of SAEs founding. But, alas, I fear that things have finally hit the gutter once and for all, and they won't be coming up for air anytime soon: Upon further investigation, and personal reflection, all I can say is that the house that was kicked off campus today was not the house that I helped found in 1995. We were a diverse and welcoming chapter, accepting of all men, of all colors, races, ethnicities. We welcomed the jocks, the geeks, the hippies, and the preppies. If you possessed a solid character and were willing to commit to our creed, you were accepted, no questions. And, never during those years of my involvement had I seen such bigoted behavior or heard such racist language as what I listened to in horror being sung by these boys on the bus.Oh, how times have changed. In those days, any behavior unbecoming of a gentleman was dealt with swiftly, internally, and severely - as an example, when I was president of the house and fighting to get the charter awarded back to the OU chapter, there became certain issues within the membership, and there were certain very public and embarrassing offenses that took place and that are still sadly remembered to this day. I was forced to have to make the final decision to release over half the brotherhood and essentially start over on the road to rechartering. It was a tough call, and not the popular decisionbut, we stayed true to our morals. It was a time when leadership, honor, and a code of ethics all had meaning; and, we tried every day to live up to those set forth, and especially when we stumbled.I have no idea out of which window of the house at 730 College those morals have been tossed, since, nor at what point they started to disappear after I and the original founders of the the Oklahoma Kappa chapter stopped being involved (I've been told that signs began showing around 2006-2007). It does not matter, and I am not looking to place blame. However, whatever the case may be, bigotry seeped into our halls, and no one did anything to eradicate it. It is extremely unfortunate, and it reflects poorly on all of us who strive to maintain the integrity of the fine and honorable institution that is Sigma Alpha Epsilon. More unfortunate and saddening is the fact that as I look nationwide, this type of culture seems to be more prevalent than the true culture and ideals that the fraternity was founded upon - and we are rapidly losing respect within the public eyes that would already try to demean our organization and others like it (and, understandably, I might add, due to recurring instances like the one that happened this weekend, and others like it).I could say that the actions of a few are impacting the whole. But, let's not kid ourselves. Racism, elitism, hazing, these all seem to be more systemic than localized; and, the culture needs to change, it needs to be overhauled, comprehensibly, and not just swept under the rug. I can say that, after a bumpy ride to reestablish the house on campus, for the few years following 1995, the Oklahoma Kappa chapter of SAE, at the University of Oklahoma, was a solid house, that welcomed men of all races, ethnicities, etc., that was recognized for its philanthropy, that was given accolades for its non-hazing pledge program, and that was respected by the university and all the Greek-letter fraternities on campus as well as the student body at-large. But, looking back, I see now that we were always, even then, the minority but, should we have known it wasn't going to last?{}In the end, I sense a losing battle here if more proactive efforts are not taken to change the mentality of the Greek system, and it's breaking my heart. But, I will not make excuses for these kids in the news. I do not accept them as SAEs, although they wear the letters shamefully. I am proud to be a brother in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and I am proud of the house that I helped to found, and of the brothers who worked so hard to make it once great. But, that house of the 90s no longer exists, and apparently has not existed for many years. That being said, I would rather see the whole thing gone than have to ever be associated with bigots!Therefore, again, I applaud President Boren, and SAE National President, Brad Cohen, for their swift action. I just hope further action will be taken to address and remedy the deeper problems that lurk below just this one incident that made the news. Will we ever be able to restore the integrity of our institution after all of this? I don't know. But, I'd rather see problem chapters be suspended or permanently disbanded, while these cultural problems are addressed directly and forcefully and universally, than to ever witness this kind of behavior ever again and have my good name drawn through the dirt by affiliation.
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