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2 Oklahoma students expelled over racist chant video

WATCH: Danielle Nottingham reports on the expulsion of two students after they were identified from the racist chant video.

NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma’s president expelled two students Tuesday after he said they were identified as leaders of a racist chant captured on video during a fraternity event.

University President David Boren said in a statement the two students were dismissed for creating a “hostile learning environment for others.” Their names were not released.

READ MORE: Oklahoma frat shut down over racist chant caught on video

The video posted online shows several people on a bus participating in a chant that included a racial slur, referenced lynching and indicated black students would never be admitted to the university’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. A fraternity is an organization of male college students in the U.S.

Boren acted swiftly after the video surfaced late Sunday, severing ties with the fraternity and ordering its house shuttered Monday and announcing the expulsions Tuesday.

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“I hope that students involved in this incident will learn from this experience and realize that it is wrong to use words to hurt, threaten, and exclude other people,” he said.

Boren said the university is working to identify other students involved in the chant, who may also face discipline.

WATCH: University of Oklahoma students talk about the controversial video

Windows at the fraternity were boarded up and moving vans were parked outside Tuesday. Members have until midnight to remove their belongings. The Greek letters have already been removed from the side of the sprawling, sand-colored brick house on a street lined with fraternity and sorority houses just west of the centre of campus.

Markeshia Lyon, a junior from Oklahoma City and one of about 1,400 black students who attend the university’s Norman location, said the mostly segregated Greek culture on campus is partly to blame for creating an environment where racism can thrive.

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“That’s something that’s passed down, and that’s something that needs to change,” Lyon said.

She also said the video has sparked intense interest in addressing racial tensions on campus.

The university, located in the southern Oklahoma City suburb of Norman, has about 27,000 students, about 5 per cent of whom are black.

On Monday, a top high school football recruit withdrew his commitment to attend the university after seeing the video.

National leaders of Sigma Alpha Epsilon said an investigation confirmed members took part in the chant and announced they would close the local chapter. The national group said it was “embarrassed” by the “unacceptable and racist” behaviour.

Boren said members of the fraternity were “not totally forthcoming.” It’s unclear who recorded the video, when it was recorded and who initially posted it online. Boren suggested it was likely taken by another student who didn’t agree with what was being chanted.

Meanwhile, two fundraising websites have been established for a black cook at the fraternity’s local chapter.

The sites each seek to raise $50,000 for Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s cook, identified only as Howard.

An Indiegogo site reported having raised more than $39,000 Monday morning while a GoFundMe site reported raising more than $12,000.

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Associated Press writer Allen Reed contributed to this report from Little Rock, Arkansas.

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