University expels fraternity over racist video

Syracuse University has expelled a fraternity after videos surfaced showing members exhibiting inappropriate behavior, according to the university's chancellor.

Posted: Apr 24, 2018 12:29 PM
Updated: Apr 24, 2018 12:42 PM

Syracuse University has removed 18 students from regular classes and started disciplinary proceedings against them for a controversial Theta Tau fraternity event where a racist and anti-Semitic video was shot.

Even as it did so, a second video surfaced: This one captured Theta Tau members making fun of the disabled.

The developments are just the latest for the beleaguered fraternity. Over the weekend, the university announced it had permanently expelled Theta Tau.

Why the students were removed

Syracuse said Monday that it removed the 18 students from classes as a precautionary measure.

"Out of an abundance of caution and ongoing concern for our campus community, Provost Michele Wheatly and Dean of Students Rob Hradsky notified the 18 students of their removal from academic participation, effective immediately," Public Safety Chief Bobby Maldonado said in a statement.

"Alternative class and study arrangements will be made for these students as the judicial process moves forward,"

In addition to the 18, more students may be implicated as the investigation continues, he added.

What's in the second video

Like the first, the latest video shows fraternity members mocking and using slurs. The target this time are physical and intellectual disabilities.

The video shows a man wearing a helmet sitting in an office chair while someone else simulates a sex act on him.

University Chancellor Kent Syverud described the video as "appalling and disgusting."

"I believe the second video depicts egregious behavior, including sexual assault, violence and discriminatory mockery and hostility toward people with disabilities that is unacceptable and deeply harmful in many ways," Chancellor Syverud in a statement Sunday.

The university said it received the second video Wednesday. University officials would not confirm to CNN whether they are aware of more video evidence.

"We have not and will not release the videos that are a part of our investigation. It is imperative that we preserve the evidence to be used in individual conduct cases. In addition, my office will not be party to the distribution of this hateful and hurtful content," Maldonado said.

The Department of Public Safety has shared the video with the Onondaga County district attorney.

Onondaga District Attorney William Fitzpatrick's office has not responded to CNN for comment.

The fraternity apologizes

The Theta Tau Syracuse chapter apologized in a statement after the first video gained national attention.

"Anyone of color or of any marginalized group who has seen this video has every right to be angry and upset with the despicable contents of that video," it said.

The racist video had been part of a skit to roast an active brother, who is a conservative Republican, it said in the statement.

"The new members roasted him by playing the part of a racist conservative character. It was a satirical sketch of an uneducated, racist, homophobic, misogynist, sexist, ableist and intolerant person," according to the fraternity. "The young man playing the part of this character nor the young man being roasted do not hold any of the horrible views espoused as a part of that sketch."

It added that the group wasn't trying to make excuses for the video but wanted to explain the context for it.

"We cannot apologize enough for the pain, sadness and fear that this has caused," it stated.

It said the organization would never demand new members to recite the kind of language in the video and that the fraternity was not a place of hate.

Theta Tau's central office also condemned the actions of those in the video as "truly disgraceful."

"It was revealed that the video was a parody, skit, or roast of the active brothers by a pledge class, and not Chapter members hazing, humiliating, or disparaging its pledges as the university had described to our central office. However, this does not excuse the behavior," it said in a statement.

The university is reviewing Greek life

The university will review the Greek life culture to establish new practices and require bias training for Greek and student organization leaders, members and advisers, and mandatory student training will be implemented, Syverud wrote in a letter to alumni last week.

The central office vowed to take action based on findings from an investigation.

The Theta Tau central office did not respond for comment when CNN reached out after release of the second video.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 449492

Reported Deaths: 6047
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin933031483
Ramsey40134741
Dakota33159344
Anoka31061365
Washington20220230
Stearns17922188
St. Louis13730242
Scott1199496
Wright11656104
Olmsted1054775
Sherburne822065
Carver696436
Clay653981
Rice610769
Kandiyohi554871
Blue Earth543233
Crow Wing484877
Otter Tail457967
Chisago453336
Benton421086
Winona390046
Douglas375766
Nobles371746
Mower367829
Goodhue349259
Polk328958
McLeod325745
Morrison312145
Beltrami311048
Lyon302538
Becker286239
Itasca285243
Isanti282941
Carlton280943
Steele27489
Pine267013
Freeborn247923
Todd232230
Nicollet225436
Brown215534
Mille Lacs214545
Le Sueur210715
Cass207723
Meeker200033
Waseca190116
Wabasha17243
Martin170826
Roseau165717
Hubbard149538
Redwood139827
Renville137540
Houston137213
Dodge13544
Chippewa131632
Cottonwood127718
Fillmore12435
Wadena120117
Rock110312
Sibley10857
Aitkin108333
Faribault106716
Watonwan10678
Pennington99715
Kanabec98018
Pipestone94723
Yellow Medicine93715
Murray8935
Jackson86010
Swift83518
Pope7415
Marshall70315
Stevens7018
Clearwater68514
Lac qui Parle65716
Lake64915
Wilkin6269
Koochiching59710
Lincoln4871
Big Stone4603
Unassigned43668
Grant4298
Norman4248
Mahnomen4107
Kittson37220
Red Lake3174
Traverse2523
Lake of the Woods1951
Cook1150

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307088

Reported Deaths: 4340
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk46016457
Linn17864278
Scott15566166
Black Hawk13875238
Woodbury13040177
Johnson1216051
Dubuque11434153
Pottawattamie9047113
Dallas896572
Story871235
Webster470172
Cerro Gordo467871
Sioux456157
Clinton451863
Warren449038
Marshall428662
Buena Vista393829
Muscatine392278
Des Moines383641
Plymouth351468
Wapello346598
Jasper324059
Lee318131
Marion305752
Jones272649
Henry264831
Carroll255934
Bremer246848
Crawford232324
Washington220332
Boone219517
Benton210150
Mahaska195037
Jackson193031
Tama188758
Dickinson186227
Kossuth174844
Delaware174536
Clay169820
Wright165224
Fayette163623
Hamilton160730
Buchanan160423
Winneshiek156919
Harrison156762
Hardin155529
Cedar154219
Clayton151548
Butler149224
Page144915
Floyd139836
Cherokee139227
Mills136916
Lyon135732
Poweshiek133924
Hancock130724
Allamakee129628
Iowa126022
Calhoun12299
Grundy121626
Jefferson121325
Madison12129
Winnebago119729
Mitchell116235
Louisa115430
Cass113942
Chickasaw112212
Sac111115
Emmet110831
Appanoose110740
Union109222
Humboldt105819
Guthrie103424
Shelby103427
Franklin102718
Unassigned9410
Palo Alto90910
Montgomery86423
Keokuk85626
Howard84419
Monroe81319
Clarke7987
Pocahontas77711
Ida74730
Davis69421
Greene6947
Adair69020
Lucas6589
Monona64616
Osceola6419
Worth6133
Taylor5949
Fremont5176
Van Buren49713
Decatur4934
Ringgold44311
Wayne41721
Audubon4158
Adams2973
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Clear
wxIcon
Hi: 13° Lo: 4°
Feels Like: -13°
Mason City
Clear
wxIcon
Hi: 16° Lo: 6°
Feels Like: -11°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 12° Lo: 3°
Feels Like: -6°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 13° Lo: 3°
Feels Like: -10°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 16° Lo: 7°
Feels Like: -13°
A cold end to the workweek
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

RPD, Marine ROTC duke it out in physical challenge

Image

Century defeats John Marshall in early season matchup

Image

RCTC women's basketball preps for first game in almost two years

Image

Semper Fi, RPD meets Marines

Image

Can your employer force you to get a Covid-19 vaccine?

Image

Aaron's Thursday Night Forecast

Image

Mayo Clinic holds virtual town hall

Image

More Iowans will be eligible for vaccine in February

Image

RPD and Marines train together

Image

New speeding laws

Community Events