SEVERE WX : Special Weather Statement - Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Syracuse University suspends 15 fraternity members over 'extremely racist' video

Syracuse University has suspended 15 members of a professional fraternity, their lawyer said, after they appeared in ...

Posted: Jun 10, 2018 1:20 PM
Updated: Jun 10, 2018 1:20 PM

Syracuse University has suspended 15 members of a professional fraternity, their lawyer said, after they appeared in videos that the school's chancellor has described as "extremely racist" and "offensive."

The two videos, published in April by the school's student newspaper, show members of the Theta Tau engineering fraternity using racial slurs, simulating sex acts and mocking people with physical and intellectual disabilities.

"The 15 students have been suspended indefinitely for one to two years," Karen Felter, the attorney representing the 15 students, told CNN. "This means the university does not have any obligation to readmit them once the suspension is over. It is up to their discretion."

She said the students were suspended Tuesday.

In a letter Friday to the campus community, Dean of Students Robert Hradsky wrote, "The hearing and deliberations, overseen by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, have concluded, and the students were notified of their respective outcomes and subsequent sanctions."

Gregory Germain, a Syracuse law professor who acted as a "procedural adviser" for several of the students, told CNN, "there will be notations on their academic transcripts that they have been 'involuntarily withdrawn'" from the university.

The students will lose their financial aid benefits while suspended, Felter noted.

After the first video appeared, Chancellor Kent Syverud in a statement to the campus community called the students' behavior "offensive."

"They include words and behaviors that are extremely racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, sexist, and hostile to people with disabilities," Syverud wrote.

The fraternity apologized: "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."

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 content, but wanted to tell the context around the video.

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

The university permanently expelled the fraternity after the videos surfaced, Syverud said in a video statement. He noted the school had suspended the fraternity soon after being made aware of the footage.

Theta Tau's central office said in April it launched its own investigation.

"Theta Tau is deeply troubled by the recent events that occurred at our chapter at Syracuse University, and we strongly condemn the offensive actions and despicable language depicted in the recently released videos," the organization said in a statement.

"We have cooperated fully with university and police officials, and we will pursue appropriate disciplinary measures in the near future to hold the individuals accountable for their actions."

The central office did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment about the students' suspensions.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 447349

Reported Deaths: 6007
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin929301478
Ramsey39917738
Dakota32945340
Anoka30935364
Washington20116227
Stearns17847187
St. Louis13658241
Scott1193296
Wright11598104
Olmsted1045075
Sherburne820665
Carver693436
Clay651680
Rice605268
Kandiyohi553671
Blue Earth539933
Crow Wing482574
Otter Tail456367
Chisago452032
Benton419586
Winona388046
Douglas373966
Nobles369646
Mower364729
Goodhue346858
Polk328256
McLeod324745
Morrison311544
Beltrami309947
Lyon301136
Becker284639
Itasca284543
Isanti282441
Carlton279443
Steele27279
Pine266613
Freeborn244621
Todd231730
Nicollet224036
Brown214734
Mille Lacs214046
Le Sueur209415
Cass207623
Meeker199433
Waseca188916
Wabasha17023
Martin169926
Roseau165416
Hubbard149238
Redwood139627
Renville137239
Houston135613
Dodge13434
Chippewa131032
Cottonwood127018
Fillmore12315
Wadena119916
Rock110112
Sibley10847
Aitkin108033
Watonwan10638
Faribault105716
Pennington99215
Kanabec97418
Pipestone94023
Yellow Medicine93714
Murray8815
Jackson85310
Swift83418
Pope7385
Marshall70315
Stevens7018
Clearwater68514
Lac qui Parle65716
Lake63615
Wilkin6249
Koochiching59510
Lincoln4831
Big Stone4563
Unassigned44168
Grant4298
Norman4238
Mahnomen4107
Kittson37219
Red Lake3164
Traverse2503
Lake of the Woods1931
Cook1140

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 304391

Reported Deaths: 4270
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk45574448
Linn17742274
Scott15414163
Black Hawk13696236
Woodbury12968175
Johnson1207549
Dubuque11348150
Pottawattamie8959112
Dallas885171
Story865434
Webster468271
Cerro Gordo464768
Sioux454456
Clinton449461
Warren440738
Marshall426561
Buena Vista392329
Muscatine388477
Des Moines381041
Plymouth349768
Wapello342398
Jasper321258
Lee315830
Marion303852
Jones270649
Henry263830
Carroll253934
Bremer242648
Crawford229422
Boone217017
Washington216831
Benton209244
Mahaska191836
Jackson191431
Tama186657
Dickinson185026
Delaware173036
Kossuth172143
Clay167319
Wright163624
Fayette161122
Buchanan159123
Hamilton158729
Winneshiek155219
Harrison154862
Hardin154429
Cedar152519
Clayton151348
Butler147324
Page144215
Floyd138836
Cherokee138427
Mills136216
Lyon134832
Poweshiek132424
Hancock129824
Allamakee127627
Iowa124322
Calhoun12209
Grundy120526
Jefferson120124
Madison11999
Winnebago118729
Mitchell116134
Louisa114730
Cass112841
Chickasaw110912
Sac110915
Emmet110431
Appanoose110138
Union108222
Humboldt105319
Guthrie102924
Shelby102126
Franklin101718
Unassigned9230
Palo Alto9049
Keokuk84926
Montgomery84822
Howard83119
Monroe80918
Clarke7927
Pocahontas77611
Ida74130
Davis69121
Greene6917
Adair68720
Lucas6488
Monona64016
Osceola6389
Worth6063
Taylor5919
Fremont5086
Van Buren49612
Decatur4824
Ringgold4289
Audubon4158
Wayne41421
Adams2953
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Cloudy
18° wxIcon
Hi: 23° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 5°
Mason City
Cloudy
22° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 5°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
19° wxIcon
Hi: 20° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 7°
Austin
Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 7°
Charles City
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: 16°
Get ready for a midweek warm-up!
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Temporary parking changes downtown

Image

Minnesota Airman returns home after 2 years

Image

Proposal for new "Welcome" signs in Clear Lake

Image

HyVee offering rapid antibody testing at some locations

Image

How far have we come since the "I Have a Dream" Speech?

Image

Helping victims of domestic abuse

Image

Teaching MLK in the classroom

Image

Planned parent protest for in person learning

Image

In Person Learning Through Pandemic

Image

Local Accounting Office Dealing With Changes

Community Events