Did local frat members hurl racial slurs at black students? UW investigating

SEATTLE -- Black students at the University of Washington allege that members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity called members of a 'Black Lives Matter' march last month "apes" as they walked past the frat house, it was reported Thursday.

The Seattle Times said UW’s Black Student Union has asked for a formal apology from the SAE fraternity for allegedly calling black students names, booing and making obscene gestures during the Feb. 25 march.

The UW confirmed it was investigating allegations stemming from the march.

"The University recently learned of alleged behavior during the Black Lives Matter march two weeks ago that contained grossly  insensitive comments and rude gestures aimed at the marchers," Denzil Suite, UW vice president for student life, said in statement issued Thursday.

"The allegations attribute this behavior to members of one of our fraternities," he added. "We have been and are currently still in the process of gathering information about this incident to determine what occurred and who may have been responsible. To date we do not have answers to either of these questions.

"The behavior described is completely inconsistent with the University's values and expectations.  We believe strongly in the value of our diversity and respect for our differences. We are committed to fostering a climate of civility that honors those differences. Any behavior antithetical to this is unacceptable.

"If and when we can determine what occurred, we will take appropriate steps to deal with it. In the meantime, we ask that anyone with photos, recordings, or videos of the incident in question to send them to me at OFSL@uw.edu"

The SAE fraternity at the University of Oklahoma was recently closed after a video surfaced of SAE members reciting racist chants on a bus; the video went viral. The university later expelled two students for the incident.