Central New York, Community, Education, Syracuse

Syracuse University’s Theta Tau Suspended After ‘Extremely Racist’ Video Surfaces

Theta Tau, Syracuse University's professional engineering fraternity, was suspended Wednesday morning and announced to the community via email following an "extremely racist" video surfacing.

by Nicole DeMentri SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)– Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Svyerud announced the suspension of Theta Tau fraternity Wednesday morning following videos of members partaking in “words and behaviors that are extremely racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, sexist, and hostile to people with disabilities,” according to an email from Svyerud to the campus community.

The Daily Orange, an independent student-run newspaper, released the video following student protests late Wednesday evening.  The video was taken inside of the professional fraternity’s house.  SU refused to release the footage due to an ongoing investigation by the Department of Public Safety.

One member can be seen in video on his knees reciting an “oath” saying, “I solemnly swear to always have hatred in my heart for” African Americans, Hispanics and Jews using racial slurs.

Earlier Wednesday afternoon, Reverend Dr. Brian Konkol, the Dean of Hendricks Chapel, invited students to a “community gathering at Hendricks Chapel.”  There students spoke about their concerns in the campus community and subsequently, Konkol held another gathering in Hendricks at 7 p.m.

It was at the first gathering that Student Association President James Franco and Vice President Angie Pati called for a full audit of Greek Life at the University.

The Chancellor continued stating, “I am appalled and shaken by this and deeply concerned for all members of our community.”

This marks the fourth fraternity on SU campus to be suspended just this year alone. Last week, social fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu (SAM) was suspended over hazing allegations.  In February, Alpha Epsilon Pi (AePi) was also suspended over student safety concerns via hazing and Delta Tau Delta was suspended in the fall after a hazing investigation.

There are a total of ten Greek organizations at Syracuse University completely banned from operating—sometimes for a matter of months and others for years.

We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.