Expert weighs in on accusation of racism at Yale fraternity

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A few minutes on High Street in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house are now being debated days later at Yale University.

A female student says on Facebook she was turned away a because they were only allowing “White Girls Only” inside.

“Obviously there was a sense of discomfort that needs to be addressed and that we’re working to fix,” said Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity president, Grant Mueller.

He says they turned people away because police told them their party was too crowded and denies any discrimination.

“After the investigation we’ve done, we found out that no one said it and so far with the information we have we believe,” said Mueller.

“This is not the first time I’ve heard of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity in the news,” said UConn Professor of Sociology Dr. Matthew Hughey.

Last year, a video surfaced of an SAE Oklahoma chapter singing a racist chant, but Hughey says SAE is not alone when dealing with racism in chapters. He says fraternities and sororities are, on average, 96-percent white.

“In many ways that means that fraternities and sororities are more racially segregated than the societies in which they exist in and much more segregated that the campuses on which they reside,” said Hughey.

He says diversifying is only the first step. “We should really start moving the discussion past the notion of diversity or diversifying these organizations. There was diversity on slave ships. There’s diversity in our prisons. Diversity without justice. Diversity without equality isn’t saying much.”

Mueller maintains they welcome people of all walks of life through their doors and that was reflected Friday night.

“There were plenty of women who were not white and men as well of all races and sexualities and genders inside,” said Mueller.

Yale University has not responded for our requests for an interview.

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