Syracuse Expels Frat for 'Racist, Anti-Semitic, Homophobic, Ableist, and Sexist' Video

Syracuse University

A fraternity managed to offend nearly every vulnerable group last week after posting a video with "racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, ableist, and sexist" content.

The clip — posted to the Theta Tau fraternity's private Facebook page April 18 and then reported on by student newspaper The Daily Orange — depicted male students saying hateful slurs and miming sexual assault as part of an initiation into the Greek organization.

In one video, a student is on his knees while another engages him in a faux swearing-in. "I solemnly swear to always have hatred in my heart for n----rs, , sp-cs, and most importantly, the fucking k-kes," the kneeling man said in the video between simulating fellatio on another frat member who holds a beer can to his crotch. There was also a line with a Holocaust reference, "You f-cking k-kes, get in the f-cking showers."

Students also pretended to engage in sex acts with each other, and even joke about raping a differently abled student. "He’s drooling out of his mouth, because he’s retarded in a wheelchair. So the hole is already very lubricated," one said in another recording to student sitting in a rolling office chair.

Kent Syverud, president of Syracuse University, condemned the "disgusting" video in a filmed message released Saturday to the student and alumni community. "We are permanently expelling the Syracuse University chapter of Theta Tau," announced Syverud, for the "racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, ableist, and sexist" content. Previously, the fraternity had been suspended pending an investigation.  

This investigation by the school's public safety department will also result in "recommending charges" to students in the coming days. Those involved may undergo a campus judicial review, which could result in suspension or expulsion. "The students have rights in this process," Syverud stressed, including an option to appeal sentences.

Theta Tau, a "professional engineering fraternity," released a statement apologizing for the offensive video. "Anyone of color or of any marginalized group who has seen this video has every right to be angry and upset with the despicable contents of that video," it said. The group also offered context for the awful remarks: New members were roasting a Republican brother in a skit where they were "playing the part of a racist conservative character."

"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," the statement claimed. "We would like to believe that the new members seen in the video laughing at the horrible things being said were not laughing in concurrence with these beliefs, but in fact the opposite — that racism, sexism and homophobia are so wrong that they are laughable. None of the satire was said or done in malice."

The controversial video can be viewed below — but be warned that it contains offensive content. 

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