Archive for March 10th, 2015

University of Oklahoma Fraternity Shut Down After Racist Video

The national Delta Delta Delta sorority said it is “cooperating fully” with the University of Oklahoma’s investigation into a video in which fraternity members chanted a racial slur and made references to lynching.

The university shut down the fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, whose national office apologized and said it would expel all of the members involved. At least one young woman can also be seen from behind in the video, clapping her hands along with the chant.

The woman hasn’t been identified, but late Monday, the national office of Delta Delta Delta sorority said in a brief statement that it was “cooperating fully with our partners at the university as they investigate this matter.”

“Tri Delta expects its members to uphold the highest responsibilities of college women,” it said. “The behavior documented in the video is deplorable and is in no way consistent with Tri Delta’s ideals and core values.”

Late Monday, Delta Delta Delta’s OU chapter sought to tamp down suspicions about its members involvement in the video. “The Theta Gamma chapter is not under investigation by the university, nor have any chapter members been identified within the videos released,” the sorority’s local chapter said in a statement to The Oklahoma Daily, the university’s student run newspaper.

Former Sen. David Boren, the university’s president, called participants in the video “disgraceful” Monday, saying in a statement: “You have violated all that we stand for. Real Sooners are not racist. Real Sooners are not bigots.”

Click the link below to see the video

Growing number of city councils consider legislation as state lawmakers eye proposals to end criminalization of homeless

Indianapolis became the first U.S. city to pass a Homeless Bill of Rights measure this week — the latest success for a national campaign to end criminalization of the homeless.

Indianapolis’ proposal, passed on Monday and awaiting a signature from the mayor, would protect the rights of homeless people to move freely in public spaces, to receive equal treatment from city agencies, to obtain emergency medical care, to vote and to maintain privacy for personal property, Indy Star, a local newspaper, reported.

The bill would also require the city to give a homeless person 15 days notice before requiring them to leave a camp, the newspaper said. Authorities would be required to store any displaced person’s property for 60 days as well as refer them to nonprofit organizations that could provide services and transitional housing.

“It is much more cost-effective to provide support services and assistance to those experiencing homelessness in our city than to arrest them,” Indianapolis councilman LeRoy Robinson said. “Sadly, our city had chosen the latter.” Robinson is the sponsor of the legislation in the city council.

Activists are pushing for similar protections in other cities, including Washington, D.C.; Madison, Wisconsin; and Duluth, Minnesota. The laws would guarantee the rights of the homeless to carry out basic human functions such as sitting, standing, eating and sleeping in public areas. Duluth’s city council has passed a measure identifying the need for such a bill, and advocates are working on a bill in for the city of Madison, according to Michael Stoops, director of community organization for the National Coalition for the Homeless. Legislation to add homelessness to Washington, D.C.’s anti-discrimination law may be introduced this spring, Stoops added.

The campaign comes amid a rise in the nationwide homeless population, and in laws targeting them, since the 2008 recession. Advocates say these laws are aimed at removing those deemed undesirable from public spaces, and that they subject homeless people to police harassment or arrest for carrying out activities that everyone must do — but only some have to do in public areas.