A member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s Yale chapter is being accused of declining black students from entering a Halloween party by telling them, “White girls only.”
According to multiple accounts, the incident happened at an off-campus party on Friday night in New Haven, when a SAE brother allegedly kept turning people away on the stairs of the entrance and only letting in blond women. Students claim they heard the frat member keep saying, “White girls only.”
A Yale student named Neema confirmed the story on social media, writing on Facebook:
“I’d just like to take a moment to give a shoutout to the member of Yale’s SAE chapter who turned away a group of girls from their party last night, explaining that admittance was on a ‘White Girls Only’ basis; and a belated shoutout to the SAE member who turned me and my friends away for the same reason last year.”
Another Yale freshman told The Washington Post he saw darker students being declined entry and heard the white SAE brother at the door shouting, “White girls only. We’re only looking for white girls.”
When the freshman and his friends arrived to the party after midnight, he says he was turned away while his friends were allowed in. “When I first came up to the door they said, ‘Who the [expletive] do you think you are—you’re clearly gay,’” said the student.
Columbia freshman Sofia Petros-Gouin, who was staying with friends at Yale for the weekend and says she witnessed the racist party screening, told the Post:
“A group of girls came up who were predominantly black and Hispanic. He held his hand up to their faces and said, ‘No, we’re only looking for white girls.’ …He pulled a blond girl up from the bottom of the stairs — over some people — pushed her inside and said, ‘We are looking for white girls only, white girls only.’ No brothers corrected him or said anything.”
SAE has been widely criticized after members of the University of Oklahoma chapter were expelled for racist chants earlier this year.
A SAE brother in attendance says that, contrary to the accounts of racism at the party, only people without Yale IDs were blocked from entering before 11:15 p.m. He also says the frat members were trying to prevent overcrowding after police showed up, prompted by noise complaints:
It was uncomfortable, he said, in part because that brother is African American and others working the door at the time are Portuguese and Costa Rican; he described the chapter as racially diverse. He said some in Yale’s black community have called black SAE members “Uncle Tom” on Monday, making them feel like they are being forced to choose between siding with the fraternity or others of their race.
Yale’s SAE house president Grant Mueller told the Yale Daily News, “I was shocked and flabbergasted [at the idea] that anyone in SAE would even have these words come from their mouths. It’s just kind of upsetting for me because we try to be so incredibly accepting and take pride in our diversity.”
A national SAE spokesman said in a statement:
“The Sigma Alpha Epsilon headquarters has been investigating the allegation since it was first brought to our attention. Based on preliminary information we have received, law-enforcement officers received a noise complaint and visited the house where members held a social event over the weekend, asking the men to stop admitting guests and to clear the steps and sidewalk. The brothers complied with the direction given to them and halted any additional attendance by guests in order to avoid a citation.”
The statement adds that investigations will continue and that SAE “has zero tolerance for any behaviors or actions that deviate from our values, mission and creed.”
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