Students at the University of Memphis participated in a silent protest Monday in response to a member of a campus fraternity allegedly using a racial slur at a fundraiser last week.
At the sorority Pi Beta Phi’s annual karaoke night, a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon was said to have used the n-word during his performance, upsetting members of the audience.
Soooo disappointed in @SigEpMemphis . I really don’t know how anybody could be so stupid. I mean, it’s not surprising but still...nobody thought that maybe this was a bad idea???— Melissa Moore (@melissagwyne) March 17, 2018
@UofMemphisPres we are looking for your statement & your plan for @SigEpMemphis’s behavior. As the President of the Black Student Association & President of my chapter this will not be tolerated nor ignored!— the fourth migo✨ (@Railynnnn) March 17, 2018
So, @UofMemphisPres, I’m sure by now you’ve heard about @SigEpMemphis’ use of racial slurs last night on stage. Can you tell us what you and @uofmemphis are planning to do? Many students and alumni such as myself are anxious to see the course of action. This is unacceptable.— big poppa. (@janellemobae) March 17, 2018
As a student, I am extremely disappointed, disgusted, and more importantly offended that such behavior was put on tonight @SigEpMemphis. It was not funny nor entertaining and I hope disciplinary actions will be taking place— SlumMasterPimpin (@aBallOfCiara) March 17, 2018
The fraternity released a statement via Twitter saying that though the racial slur was a part of the original song lyrics, the member was immediately suspended, as the “use of offensive and hurtful language does not align with the values of Sigma Phi Epsilon.”
“Sigma Epsilon holds our members to high standards of behavior towards others, our fellow students, and community,” the statement reads. “When student members do not uphold those standards we are prepared to hold them accountable. The chapter is fully cooperating with the university administration in its
investigation of this event.
“Our members look forward to continuing to contribute to a diverse and inclusive community at the University of Memphis.”
The university also released a statement in response to the incident.
"Racism and bigotry will not be tolerated," the university said in their statement. "All allegations are currently being thoroughly investigated, and if found to be accurate, immediate steps will be taken to address the behavior with the individual, local chapter and national organization. The University of Memphis takes seriously all such behavior and has the strongest of commitments to continuing efforts to educate our campus community."