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A Message From Phi Delta Theta General Council President Regarding The Events At The University of Oklahoma



Like many of you, I’ve been paying close attention to the recent news coverage regarding the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at the University of Oklahoma. While I am not often surprised by the misguided and ignorant actions and antics that occur on campus, this incident does give me pause, and it demands a few comments.

Phi Delta Theta has long been a leader in the fraternity world because the actions of our members – both undergraduate and alumni alike – have been mostly congruent with the mission of the Fraternity and teachings of The Bond. Yes, we stumble and fall occasionally, but our record speaks for itself. What this situation teaches us most is that we now live in a world of instant and immediate transparency. Your attitudes and resulting actions will be revealed for the good…or the bad.

I implore each and every one of you to never behave in a way that would bring disgrace to this Fraternity. These actions are appalling and disgusting, and there is no place in our Fraternity for this or any behavior such as this.

A few quick suggestions/thoughts:

  • Identify any behaviors, traditions, chants and events that may be present within your chapter that need to be eliminated from the culture and routines of our membership experience. Then, act decisively and appropriately.
  • Discuss what has happened at the University of Oklahoma with your brothers and alumni advisers. Use this unfortunate and deplorable action to fuel growth and positive change within your chapter.
  • Call upon your campus, alumni, and GHQ leadership, and take advantage of their available resources if you need help and assistance in dealing with these issues.

Finally, please know that I go to bed every night thankful for the quality and authenticity of our undergraduate and alumni members. We are a blessed organization in so many profound and significant ways. Remember what is expected of each of you, individually, as a member of this organization.

Damn Proud To Be A Phi!

Yours in the Bond,






Rich Fabritius
President, General Council

19 thoughts on “A Message From Phi Delta Theta General Council President Regarding The Events At The University of Oklahoma

  1. How in the world can you even comment when Phi Delta Theta right down the street at Oklahoma State was kicked off campus for making ridiculous decisions as well.

  2. Proud to work for the men of Missouri Beta. This is a wonderful message and as we are in “I” week, very relevant. Thank You for taking the time to remind us all how important the values of Phi Delta Theta are and that they are the backbone of this fraternity.

  3. Phi Delta Theta is just as bad if not worse than these other fraternities coming up in the news. I was part of the Hanover College chapter and we were required to do destructive pranks, engage in racist and sexist conversations about core values, and engage in terrible “hell week” rituals. Phi Delts are just as guilty just haven’t been caught.

  4. As a Phi Delt who graduated from OU in 2001, and who also happens to be black, I never experienced any racial animus of any kind from anyone in the Greek system. The University did the right thing kicking the SAE’s off campus because this has developed international attention and brought shame on the University. It is important that we show that they do not represent the rest of us in an unequivocal way. I want to encourage my brothers in the Bond not to feel that we have any part in this shame. Keep practicing the principles of friendship, sound-learning, and rectitude. And if you see something that ought to be done, but will not be done unless you do it, consider that your duty.

  5. I am a brother of Delta Sigma Phi and I would like to thank you for putting this statement out. I am an African American in Greek life at my university and it is turning a bad light on us, thanks again

    Jalen Bentley

  6. The antics at SAE are both immature and disgusting. In addition they have cast a horribal shadow over all college and university fraternities and suorities. Each of us caries personal responsibility for conducting ourselves in a civilized and caring manner, not only as a brother but as a human being.

  7. Great comments and advice from General Council President Rich Fabritius.

    As a member of a chapter advisory board, I am always looking for “teaching moments” with our undergraduate members and the current situation at Oklahoma provides a great opportunity to learn from someone else’s terrible (and completely avoidable) mistake.

  8. While I agree with your suggestions to prevent the actions that happened at OU, it could have been done so without shaming the entire Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. It is pathetic that a national president of a fraternity has the audacity to cite ignorant nicknames given to an entire group of men to further your point. You more than anyone else knows that every chapter is different and generalizations made against an entire fraternity based on the actions of one or a few is inappropriate. Instead of putting down the entire SAE name, you should be applauding their swift actions to dispose of the chapter at fault and setting the example that racism will not be tolerated within their organization. One thing I learned that is effective in the Greek system is being interfraternal. Shame on the president of this fraternity for showing such disrespect. I would not be proud to be a Phi if this is what their leadership entails. Also, I am not an SAE and have no bias towards their organization.

  9. Thank you for this first of what I hope will be many letters, as this one just hits a couple of items at the surface. How about asking brothers to use this as an opportunity to check themselves, a national Greek system reckoning of actual attitudes and deeply held racist beliefs, to engage in deep, honest, genuine conversations about the ways in which what happened on the video isn’t simply a couple of kids acting in a manner that’s disgusting, but actually an event that causes harm to the fabric of more than just the fraternity, but the university, Oklahoma (in this case), our nation. I hope that nationally fraternal organizations will ask for more than just a request that people clean up their act. If the national organizations and the local chapters takes an actual lead to address the root problem, and not just the PR problem, fraternities will emerge as leaders in our country.

  10. I’m so proud that my son chose to become a PhiDelt. Great message- great leadership!

  11. As a non-white fraternity member not in Phi Delta Theta nor SAE, I think that this response is incredibly tactless and is nothing but grandstanding. It’s one thing to say we can learn from the SAE chapter’s failure, it’s another thing to be passive agressive towards the entire national organization. I think SAE’s leadership did the best job they could have done. Events like this are a reminder that even though we are in different fraternities we are all still Greek. This means that we should be supportive of each other in times like this and learn together. This is one chapter out of 100s of chapters. Frankly this response is rude and disappointing.

  12. I am an S.A.E and I speak for myself. It is a tragic situation when one Greek organization tries to best themselves and their organization when the actions of a few can have such a negative and detrimental effect on so many within the Greek system. It is also tragic that some members of your Texas Tech Chapter failed to use the same wisdom you so eloquently speak of. This is a time where regardless of Greek affiliation, we all, as Greeks need to stand by what motivated us to become involved in these organizations to begin with; which is brotherhood and sisterhood, philanthropy, community outreach, servitude and above all friendship.

    Juan G. Hernandez
    Sigma Alpha Epsilon
    Cal Mu 264265

  13. Don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house, sir. This is not a time to belittle another fraternity. We are labeled as one (Greeks), in the eyes of many.

    -SAE Alum

  14. As an SAE, I am in complete agreement that what these men did was wrong, and they deserve every punishment that is coming their way. Their actions sickened me and filled me with rage. I am not trying to defend them in any way, and am glad they are expelled permanently from our organization. My chapter has many foreigners, including multiple black people. SAE is one of the most diverse fraternities in the nation. That being said, this statement is immature and uncalled for. Greek life as a whole already has a bad name in the eyes of the media, the last thing we need is fellow greek members fueling the fire. Using this situation as an opportunity to promote your own fraternity at the expense of another is absolutely despicable. There is a Phi Delta Theta chapter on my campus and we are very close with them. I have many good friends that are Phi Delts and I respect them as a rival fraternity. However, if their national board chooses to judge our 200,000 alumni and our 15,000 active members based on the actions of a few , then I am sorry to say that I absolutely do not respect Phi Delta Thetas national board. If hatred amongst greeks such as this continues in the future, then the future of greek life as a whole may look grim. Thank you, and god bless.

  15. Well said Brother Rich Fabritius,
    As a Chapter Advisor for Ohio Lambda I feel that our young men have a good grounding in what is right and what would be wrong. We understand that the actions of a few can cause serious damage to all fraternities and hope we can learn from this unfortunate lapse of good judgement in Oklahoma. Unfortunately a few lapses of good judgement tarnish all fraternities. I am confident that Ohio Lambda’s excellent record at Kent State University will continue to rise above any improper actions of a few. Rich, keep up the good work you are doing for PDT.
    Proud to be a Phi, Bob Mather, Ohio Lambda #223.

  16. thank you for your leadership!

  17. As a parent, I am very happy to read you are bringing this subject to the forefront and encouraging a dialogue. Well done!

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