Howard Dixon, the cook who was left unemployed when the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter was shut down after a video surfaced of fraternity members singing a racist chant, has accepted a job at another organization.
Howard Dixon, the man who was out of work after spending 15 years as a cook at the now-closed Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at the University of Oklahoma (OU), rejected a job offer from the university, an OU official told BuzzFeed News.
Howard Dixon as he leaves the fraternity house on March 10.
Sue Ogrocki / AP
A reporter for the Tulsa World, Guerin Emig, tweeted on Tuesday that OU president David Boren offered Dixon a job in campus food services after severing all ties with the SAE house and ordering its members to leave in the wake of the racist fraternity chant captured on video.
Corbin Wallace, the university's press secretary, confirmed to BuzzFeed News on Wednesday that they offered Dixon a job, "but he accepted a job at another organization."
Dixon said he considered the SAE members his "family" in an interview with CBS News. "There won't be another job like this. This was one of a kind."
Referring to the racist chant that led to the expulsion of two SAE members from the university, Dixon said it "was stupid and selfish." He added, "and knowing this is an organization that's supposed to be about brotherhood. That wasn't no brotherhood."
A fundraising campaign to help Dixon "get back on his feet" has raised more than $60,000, exceeding the goal of $50,000. The Indiegogo campaign was started by alumnus Blake Burkhart, who wrote that Dixon was going to lose his job that he had held for over a decade "because of a bus full of racist kids."
"Those of you who lived in the house, undoubtedly came to love Howard and his infectious smile (if not his chili dogs)," Burkhart wrote on the fundraising page. "He was always there to chat with you and more importantly, to take care of Mom B."
"Mom B" likely refers to Beauton Gilbow, the house "mom" for the fraternity who repeatedly sang the n-word in a 2013 Vine that surfaced on Monday. When the Tulsa World reporter asked OU president Boren whether he had offered the house mom a job, Boren replied, "No we did not."
Another crowdfunding page, started by an SAE member who described Dixon as one of his best friends in the house, has raised more than $15,000 in two days. The campaign's unidentified creator says: "Howard has been a hard-working and loyal employee for over 15 years, always making it in through rain, sleet and snow. He was one of my best friends during my time in the house, and my first thoughts are for him and his family."