Syracuse University has suspended its engineering fraternity after footage of its members engaging in “extremely racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic” behavior surfaced this week.
The university’s Theta Tau chapter was suspended Monday morning after officials confirmed it was behind a series of online videos deemed racially offensive and “hostile toward people with disabilities,” Chancellor Kent Syverud wrote in a campus email blast. The recordings, obtained by campus newspaper The Daily Orange, shows Theta Tau members pretending to ejaculate on another member while he professes his hate for Blacks, Latinos and gays.
” … I solemnly swear to always have hatred in my heart for n*ggers, sp*cs and most importantly the f*ckin’ k*kes,” the person repeats while on his knees.
In another video, a member sits down in a rolling chair and a person off-camera shouts, “He’s drooling out of his mouth because he’s retarded in a wheelchair.”
The Daily Orange reported that several of the clips were recorded in the Theta Tau frat house and uploaded to a secret Facebook group called “Tau of Theta Tau.” The fraternity chapter’s website and Facebook group have since been removed, according to the paper.
“I’m appalled and shaken by this and deeply concerned for all members of our community,” Syverud said in his email. He added that SU’s Department of Public Safety is investigating the incident to identify the students involved, and to take additional legal and disciplinary action.
The disturbing videos have sparked intense campus protests, as nearly 100 students marched through campus on Wednesday chanting with signs in hand. Many students expressed outrage and said they want the folks behind the shocking videos to be held accountable for their actions.
“We’re not (Theta Tau),” Liam McMonagle, a protest organizer and digital journalism major, told the student newspaper. “They are not us. And they do not represent this community.”
Tayla Myree, a sophomore studying political science, spoke at the rally and carried a sign that read, “Apathy is complicity.” She noted that most of the people protesting were students of color, despite the university’s majority-white student body.
Theta Tau is the fourth fraternity to be suspended from Syracuse during the 2017-18 academic year. The university has declined to release the videos.