Students suspended after 'appalling' homophobic and racist video leaks

Lowenna Waters
Saturday 09 June 2018 12:30
news

Syracuse University has suspended 15 members of a fraternity following leaked footage showing pledges repeating racial slurs, and the simulated sexual assault of a disabled person.

Theta Tau engineering fraternity members were informed by their university on Tuesday that they face suspensions of one or two years for harassment, reports the New York Post.

The video was made public by the independent school newspaper The Daily Orange in April, after it was published in a closed Facebook group dubbed 'Tau of Theta Tau'.

WARNING: Includes footage some people may find upsetting.

In one clip, a fraternity member can be seen on his knees talking before a crowded room reciting 'oaths' inside the Theta Tau house:

I solemnly swear to always have hatred in my heart for n******, s**** and most importantly, the f****** k****.

In another, students joke about people with disabilities and mental illness.

He’s drooling out of his mouth because he’s retarded in a wheelchair.

WARNING: Includes footage some people may find upsetting.

After footage was released on 18 April, the university's Chancellor Kent Syverud wrote a campus-wide email, describing how he was 'appalled and shaken' by the footage.

They include words and behaviours that are extremely racist, anti-semitic, homophobic, sexist, and hostile to people with disabilities.

I am appalled and shaken by this and deeply concerned for all members of our community.

The engineering fraternity has since apologised, saying that the videos are a 'satirical sketch' at a private event, depicting an uneducated and bigoted person.

However, the university expelled the fraternity, and has begun disciplinary actions against individual students, reports the New York Post.

Syracuse law professor Robert Hadsky commented:

I think all of the students are willing to leave and want to go to another school.

I think the question is whether they’re going to be able to get into another school when they have on their transcript the scarlet letter of being suspended for harassment. 

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