Syracuse U permanently expels fraternity over racist, anti-Semitic video


(JTA) — Syracuse University has permanently expelled a campus fraternity after a video surfaced of members using racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic and ableist slurs.

In the video, discovered by the Daily Orange, Syracuse’s student newspaper, a member of Theta Tau, a national engineering fraternity, gets on his knees and repeats an oath with slurs against blacks, Hispanics and Jews, among others.

The expulsion on Saturday comes after the school’s administration suspended the fraternity, whose members attend the engineering school, after confirming the video’s authenticity on Wednesday.

University Chancellor Kent Syverud made the announcement in a video posted to the university’s public website.



Syverud said that individual students identified in the video could face suspension or expulsion. At least 38 individuals were interviewed by the university’s Department of Public Safety about the video in the days after it was authenticated with dozens more expected to be interviewed in the coming days, he said. He added that by the end of the weekend the DPS would “begin recommending charges” and making referrals to the office responsible for the student disciplinary processes. The process includes hearings for the students, and they can appeal the outcomes.

The Syracuse chapter of Theta Tau on Friday apologized for the actions captured on video and said its members believe racism “has no place on a university campus.”

“It was a satirical sketch of an uneducated, racist, homophobic, misogynist, sexist, ableist and intolerant person,” the fraternity said in a statement. “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.”

“I solemnly swear to always have hatred in my heart for n*****s, sp*cs and most importantly the f***in’ k*kes,” a member repeats, phrase by phrase, using slurs for black, Hispanic and Jewish people, respectively in the video that was posted on the student newspaper’s website. Soon after he yells, “You f***in’ k*kes, get in the f***in’ showers,” a reference to gas chambers during the Holocaust, as other members laugh and applaud.

The video also shows members simulating sexual acts and mocking gay people. Another video features more anti-gay language, as well as a slur against people with disabilities.

“We know this issue extends beyond one fraternity and one video,” Syverud said, adding that the university has “begun a top-to-bottom review of our entire Greek system.”

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