Syracuse University has suspended 15 members of the Theta Tau fraternity who appeared in racist hazing videos. Syracuse Chancellor Kent Syverud described the video as “as racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, sexist and hostile to people with disabilities.”
The video, which came to light in April 2018, shows members of the Theta Tau fraternity performing some sort of pledging ritual. Members can be heard saying “F*** black people” and “I solemnly swear to always have hatred in my heart for black people.”
After the video became public, the fraternity, which was suspended immediately, released a full statement claiming that the video was satire.
“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 statement read in part.
Approximately two months after the video went viral, Karen Felter, the lawyer who represents all 15 of the students, told CNN that they had been suspended from the university for at least a year.
“The 15 students have been suspended indefinitely for one to two years. This means the university does not have any obligation to readmit them once the suspension is over. It is up to their discretion,” Felter said.
Theta Tau has been permanently expelled from Syracuse University.