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Read the University of Oklahoma president's powerful statement on a frat's racist song

Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

In the wake of a racist incident involving a campus fraternity, University of Oklahoma president David Boren issued a scathing response — describing members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon as "disgraceful."

The controversy started Sunday, when a video surfaced showing members of the fraternity singing an incredibly racist song. This morning, Boren gave the fraternity until midnight to get off campus. He issued the declaration in an unusually forceful statement for a college administrator:

It's very rare for a university president to criticize students so directly. But Boren arguably doubled down on his stance at a Monday press conference, Boren said he'd "be glad if they left" the university because "we don't provide student services for bigots."

It's hardly controversial to condemn a song peppered with racial slurs that appears to condone lynching. Still, the forcefulness of Boren's statement stands out. For contrast, when a fraternity at Arizona State University threw a racist fraternity party, the university banned the fraternity but in a statement described the organizers as "a few misguided individuals" — not a disgrace to the entire university.

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