Syracuse fraternity suspended for 'racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic' video
Syracuse University Fraternity Suspended for "Racist, Homophobic, Anti-Semitic" Videos
The Theta Tau fraternity at Syracuse University — which this writer attended from 2013-2017, participating in Greek Life — after videos that shows members reciting racial slurs came to light.
One video in particular shows a brother asking a pledge, “Do you know what you signed up for today?” The pledge, who's kneeling on the floor in front of the brother, responds by reciting an "oath," saying "f*ck black people," and then using a racial slur for people of Hispanic descent.
The pledge continues by repeating after the brother, saying “I solemnly swear, to always have hatred in my heart for …" racial minorities, listing slurs for African-Americans, Jews and the Hispanic community. The video goes on to show brothers simulating sex acts and reciting more racial slurs as part of a pledge activity.
One member of the fraternity uploaded this video and others (that include more racist remarks, including references to Nazi gas chambers and derogatory language aimed at people with disabilities) to a secret Facebook group called "Tau of Theta Tau." But because secrets are rarely kept secret on the Internet,The Daily Orange, SU's student newspaper, obtained the footage.
Syracuse University also found out about the videos and suspended Theta Tau, a national engineering fraternity, on Wednesday morning. In an email to the campus, Chancellor Kent Syverud said he was "appalled and shaken by this and deeply concerned for all members of our community." He also said the Syracuse Department of Public Safety will investigate the incident to identify the rest of the individuals involved and "to take additional legal and disciplinary action.” This was the first time most students had heard about the incident, or were made aware of the existence of videos.
Zach Hammond, who was listed as a member on the Theta Tau fraternity's website and whose name was read aloud in the video (along with the names of other members) toldThe Daily Orangethat “there were certainly some things I disapproved of, but I certainly didn’t realize that bad of things were being said. It’s just disgusting.” He said even though his name was mentioned he was not at Theta Tau's fraternity house when the video was recorded, and claimed he wasn't very active in the chapter either. No individual suspensions have been given yet.
In response to Syverud's email, protests were held in front of the chancellor's house, demanding the footage be released. also gathered at a three-hour open forum meeting to discuss the incident. (The Daily Orangepublished the footage as the protests were happening.)
The Daily Orangecritiqued the school's response to the video, saying that Syverud dealt only with the fraternity itself, but not the bigger problems in the campus community.
Video: Second disturbing video of Syracuse frat brothers published
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