Ransdell addresses Greek Presidents regarding Oklahoma SAE controversy

For the first time in 18 years, every Greek organization president sat in the same room to address the same issue with President Gary Ransdell — racism within Greek culture.

“The obscene and outdated habits of hazing, sexual assault, and/or racism have no place in our Greek community, or anywhere else at WKU,” Ransdell said.

The Greek presidents congregated in the Student Government Administration offices Wednesday, March 18 at 3 p.m. to meet with Ransdell to discuss the situation with the SAE’s in Oklahoma.

A video uploaded online March 8 showed the members of University of Oklahoma’s SAE chapter singing “there will never be a nigger in SAE.” The chapter was disbanded, its members kicked out of the fraternity house and two members associated with the chant were expelled.

Ransdell said when he heard about the situation in Oklahoma, he was sitting in a Birmingham hotel room for the Conference USA basketball tournaments and he began scribbling his thoughts onto a post-it note.

He said it could be used as a lesson for WKU’s Greek community.

“Use the mistakes and unacceptable behavior at one university and with one Greek organization to serve as a learning moment, and a lesson to never allow those thoughts or those behaviors to creep into your life or your organization or come anywhere near this campus,” Ransdell said.

SAE President Dan Mulert said the chapter discussed the situation briefly.

Mulert said the chapter discussed how it was “some idiot that’s a student in Oklahoma” and how it didn’t reflect WKU’s chapter or even the national values.

“I never heard that chant before by the way,” Mulert said. “I can’t believe anyone would ever say that first of all.

Amy Wolterman, Lexington junior, member of Alpha Gamma Delta and of the Panhellenic Council, thought the address was effective.

“It impacts all of us, every Greek chapter and organization,” she said.

Wolterman found the meeting an unfortunate result of racism, but said the issue is something the Greek and non-Greek community has to face.

Ransdell said he wouldn’t hesitate to react to an instance of racism.

“I will be quick and harsh in my reactions to anything from anyone in any WKU organization that hints or suggests racism on this campus,” he said.

However, Ransdell emphasized unity throughout his speech.

“We are one academic community, one campus family, one family of brothers and sisters, black and white, Greek and non-Greek,” Ransdell said.