Ole Miss Fraternity Speaks Out About James Meredith Statue For First Time

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(Oxford, MS) For the first time, representatives of a fraternity at Ole Miss are speaking out about three now former members accused of putting a noose and an old Georgia flag on the statue of a civil rights icon.

Sigma Phi Epsilon said it turned the trio into authorities and kicked them out of the fraternity immediately after it happened.

"The fact these three individuals were able to achieve membership in our organization is extremely troubling," said Sigma Phi Epsilon CEO Brian Warren.

What makes it even more disappointing and embarrassing for Warren is where it happened: the Ole Miss campus.

Across the country, the school in Oxford still has a black eye over its segregation policy into the 1960s and a list of problems ever since.

"I'm appalled. I'm hurt," said Warren. "I think our chapter is right to immediately expel these members. It was good they acted swiftly. It was right they turned over the names of the individuals to investigating authorities."

Warren flew into Oxford after he heard three members draped a noose and an Old Georgia flag on the James Meredith statue two weeks ago.

Meredith was the first African American to go to Ole Miss in 1962, and his enrollment sparked a riot on campus.

"The fraternity was the first to find out, and they were the ones that brought the names forward," said Warren. "I know the values when the fraternity is done right, when Sig Ep is done right. It is a very impressive thing. To see it like this, it's hurtful."

Warren said he is working to find out more about these guys. He knows they are 19-year-old freshmen from Georgia. They were not pledges, and he says this wasn't an act of hazing.

No one is releasing their names, but we do know the trio was kicked out of the fraternity immediately and could be expelled from the university.

Since there was no physical harm done to the statue, police said they cannot charge the three men with vandalism.

The university said it is pursuing federal hate crime charges.

"We did everything we could to hold them accountable," said Warren, and he's holding the rest of the fraternity responsible. He suspended the chapter until he can find out how these guys got in.

"We do not intend to have them resume operations until we are confident they represent the best of Sigma Phi Epsilon and the best of Ole Miss," said Warren.

Warren said thousands of alumni from across the country are furious fellow members could deface a monument that signifies diversity.

Now the question is: do federal investigators find it hurtful enough to file hate crime charges?


  • IN

    Great response from Brian and the national fraternity. As a brother from Indiana, it was a shame to hear of this behavior at our Carlson Leadership Academy this past weekend. I’m grateful to belong to a chapter that thrives from diversity and regularly shows the community that our fraternity is different.

    • Steven

      When is the candle light vigil? When does Rev. Al and Rev. Jessie come to Oxford? Sadly, no one seems to care about the black on black crime in the midsouth. (An average of 12 black on black murders each month in the midsouth)

  • kevin

    I love the fact that Ole Miss is doing the right thing to those thugs. They need to be jailed for a little while if possible. I see the same ole lost souls are on the board crying like little girls because they can’t have their bigoted ways again … Boo hoo hoo …..

  • blackandproud

    I rarely make comments, but I have followed this story rather closely. Let me start by saying, I am a proud parent of a college freshman. I was not at all shocked by the actions at Ole Miss. I would not allow either of my children to attend Ole Miss because I refuse to give them a dime. I am pleased at the way it was handled, just wondering what they say when the cameras aren’t rolling. I am a strong fan of HBCU’s because that was once are only means of higher education. Why must we want what they don’t want us to have? Let’s put our money back in our own communities and schools! Oh, I will pray for those of you who remain so ignorant.

  • Kimberly

    I finally see where you racist bigots hid. A long time ago you wore bed sheets to hide your faces. Now your still hiding your faces behind blogs. To all you racist bigots on this news blog KEEP HIDING!

  • errin

    As a graduate of The University of Mississippi, I have seen great change come to Olé Miss in recent years. I was one of the ones that voted to keep Col Reb, not because of what it represents, but rather I don’t believe a mascot can deter a recruit from coming to a university. For those of you who wish not to send your kids to Olé Miss because of its history, your about as ignorant as the persons doing this disgusting display of racism. The acts of a few lost souls don’t reflect the ideas and beliefs of everyone.

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