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Syracuse University Suspends All Fraternity Activities, Offers $50K Reward After Black Student, Others Suffer Racist Attacks

Syracuse University officials have halted social activities for all fraternities after a spate of racist and anti-Semitic incidents reported across campus.

For the second time in just three days, Chancellor Kent Syverud addressed students in a video message regarding the bias-related incidents, the latest involving a Black female student who claims a group of fraternity members pelted her with racial slurs as she waited for a bus, CNY Central reported.

Syracuse University

Syracuse University has seen reports of at least 10 bias-related incidents since last week. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The frat, later identified as Alphi Chi Ro, has since been suspended.

“We have identified the individuals we believe to be involved,” Syverud said in the eight-minute clip. “I assure you those responsible will face appropriate disciplinary action.”

In response to the string of bias incidents, the university is also offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest or an “actionable referral to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities,” and said it plans to beef up security.

Since Nov. 7, there have been at least 10 racist or bias-related incidents reported on or around the Syracuse campus, according to independent student newspaper The Daily Orange. Bigoted language and epithets were found scrawled on building walls and in campus residence halls.

According to the paper, “ceiling lights in bathrooms on Day Hall’s sixth floor were pulled out and put in a toilet. The N-word was written on part of the light, at least one mirror on the floor and on garbage cans.”

A slur targeting Asian students was also found on a bulletin board on the dormitory’s fourth floor.

In a separate incident Nov. 14, the Daily Orange reported that a swastika was found etched in a snowbank just across from an off-campus, luxury apartment complex where students live. Two days later, graffiti targeting Asians was also discovered at Haven Hall. The university’s Department of Public Safety said it was investigating, but so far, had no suspects.

Another probe was launched Nov. 16 after anti-Semitic graffiti was found and removed from the same campus dorm, the paper reported.

The incident involving the African-American student was reported later that day. The young woman told police a large group of students harassed her, shouting the N-word as she made her way to a bus stop on campus.

DPS officials said they’ve since spoken with the victim and are reviewing evidence in the case, which includes surveillance footage.

Syverud was joined by Dean of Students Marianne Thomson, Department of Public Safety Chief Bobby Maldonado and incoming Interim Provost John Liu in his video message Sunday as they addressed the recent events.

“All students on this campus should feel welcomed, valued, and respected,” said Thompson. “Some of you do not feel that way now and some of you have not felt that way in the past, and this must change.”

To ensure the safety of students, Maldonado said additional measures would be taken. Aside from the $50,000 reward, made possible through a “generous donor,” the public safety chief said two new shuttles would be added to bus students to College Place, the East Neighborhood and South Campus locations.

Officers will also switch from working 10-hour shifts to 16-hour shifts, doubling the workforce and police presence on campus. More security officers will also be added for patrols.

Lastly, the university announced it is reviewing and revising its code of student conduct, as well as hiring and retaining a diverse staff to serve students.

“It is important that we do this work right and that we do it together so that all of our students feel valued, welcomed, and respected,” Thompson added.

More updates are expected in the coming weeks.

Watch more in the video below.

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