More than a dozen members of a Syracuse University fraternity were ‘removed form academic participation’ on Sunday – as a second offensive video surfaced showing the simulated sexual assault of a disabled person.
The 18 Theta Tau members that were taken out of classes on Sunday were all present for the first ‘racist’ video’s filming, which depicted members using such slurs as ‘n*****,’ ‘k**e’ and s**c’.
That video was published last week by the student newspaper The Daily Orange, which released a second shocking video on Sunday, showing Theta Tau brothers performing a skit, imitating a disabled person in a wheelchair being forced to perform oral sex.
A new shocking video of Syracuse University’s Theta Tau members performing another inappropriate skit emerged over the weekend
The new skit shows the brothers imitating a disabled person being forced to perform oral sex
‘He’s drooling out of his mouth, because he’s retarded in a wheelchair,’ one person is heard saying. ‘So the hole is already very lubricated.’
SU Chancellor Kent Syverud told the Daily Orange that the second video is something they received during their investigation into the frat, which led to their decision to ban the group from campus on Saturday.
When that decision was announced this weekend, the school said they could take action against specific students at a later date. They followed through with that threat just a day later.
Syverud called the latest video ‘appalling and disgusting’.
‘I am deeply concerned about how the continuing exposure to hateful videos is causing further hurt and distress to members of our campus community,’ he said.
Over the weekend, the fraternity was banned from campus and 18 members removed from academic participation
STATEMENT FROM SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY’S DEPT. OF PUBLIC SAFETY CHIEF
Dear Campus Community,
I’m writing to provide an update on the investigation of the Theta Tau fraternity and its members.
Since Wednesday my office, in conjunction with Student Affairs, investigated and filed complaints against 18 individuals, all of whom were present at the sponsored event. Our investigation is ongoing and others may be implicated in the coming days.
Out of an abundance of caution and ongoing concern for our campus community, Provost Michele Wheatly and Dean of Students Rob Hradsky notified the 18 students of their removal from academic participation, effective immediately. Alternative class and study arrangements will be made for these students as the judicial process moves forward.
We have not and will not release the videos that are a part of our investigation. It is imperative that we preserve the evidence to be used in individual conduct cases. In addition, my office will not be party to the distribution of this hateful and hurtful content.
Department of Public Safety chief, Bobby Maldonado
The members removed from academic participation on Sunday are not technically suspended. They will continue to do classwork as their individual cases are heard by the university’s office of judicial affairs.
‘Out of an abundance of caution and ongoing concern for our campus community, Provost Michele Wheatly and Dean of Students Rob Hradsky notified the 18 students of their removal from academic participation, effective immediately,’ SU Department of Public Safety Chief Bobby Maldonado said. ‘Alternative class and study arrangements will be made for these students as the judicial process moves forward.’
Maldonado said more students could be implicated as the investigation continues.
Syracuse University President Kent Syverud called the latest video ‘appalling and disgusting’.
The fraternity first came under fire last week, when a video was posted by the student newspaper The Daily Orange, showing members using racial slurs like ‘n****’ and ‘s**c’
Syracuse Dean of Students Robert Hradsky told Syracuse.com that the school won’t be able to identify the students involved in the video because of federal privacy laws.
‘We won’t be able to provide any individually identifying information,’ Hradsky said. ‘Now it doesn’t apply to groups. That’s why we were able to tell you that (Theta Tau) was expelled. It does apply to individuals.’
He said officials will be meeting with some of the 18 as early as Monday to see if they can agree on a suggested punishment, or take the case to a student conduct board.
If a student’s case goes to the judicial board, the student could face expulsion, but would have the option to appeal the ruling. The process takes about two weeks, Hradsky said.
At a town hall forum over the weekend, Biko Mandela Gray, an assistant professor in the religion department, voiced concerns that seniors involved in the video could graduate before being punished.
Pictured above is the chapter’s full apology letter, published late Thursday night
The fraternity’s national office also released a statement, saying they have a ‘no tolerance policy for this troubling and offensive behavior’
‘You’ve got students who might be seniors among those 18,’ Gray said. ‘They can’t graduate. They just can’t walk out of here with a diploma. Can not happen. Once they get an engineering job it was a blip in their college careers. I hate to say it but they have to feel the same vulnerability they put me under when they put that video out there.’
It appears that the Theta Tau members involved in the video will only face punishment from the school.
Last week, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick told Syracuse.com that he reviewed the video but determined that no crime had been committed.
Theta Tau’s Syracuse chapter apologized Friday for the initial video, saying it was part of a ‘satirical sketch of an uneducated, racist, homophobic, misogynist, sexist, ableist and intolerant person.’
‘Nothing like this will ever again be tolerated,’ the chapter said on its website. ‘Not in private, not as part of a joke – not ever.’
The chapter hasn’t immediately responded to emails Saturday and Sunday about subsequent developments.
Hundreds protested on campus last Wednesday to show their distaste for the video