Syracuse Theta Tau fraternity suspended for ‘extremely racist’ video

Google Maps(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) -- Syracuse University suspended one of its professional fraternity chapters after video surfaced showing members of Theta Tau acting in an "extremely racist" and "homophobic" manner, the university’s chancellor said.

The video -- made public by the school's independent newspaper, The Daily Orange, on Wednesday -- shows the engineering fraternity using racist, ethnic and sexist slurs, and other offensive language, while pretending to perform sexual acts on each other.

Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud called the students' conduct in the footage "extremely troubling and disturbing" in a statement released Wednesday.

"Videos showing this offensive behavior have surfaced online. They include words and behaviors that are extremely racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, sexist and hostile to people with disabilities," Syverud said.

"The conduct is deeply harmful and contrary to the values and community standards we expect of our students. There is absolutely no place at Syracuse University for behavior or language that degrades any individual or group's race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, disability or religious beliefs."

Syracuse University's Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities suspended the fraternity, effectively halting all activities, after confirming Theta Tau’s involvement, according to the statement.

The university’s Department of Public Safety is investigating the incident and looking to "identify individuals involved and to take additional legal and disciplinary action," Syverud said.

The university has not released the footage, citing the ongoing investigation, but part of the video was available on The Daily Orange’s website as of late Wednesday evening.

It was originally posted to a secret Facebook group called "Tau of Theta Tau," according to The Daily Orange, which said the video was filmed at the Theta Tau frat house.

Some students held on-campus protests Wednesday afternoon, marching near the chancellor's home with signs and chanting for the video to be released.

The demonstrators, including some who marched for more than three hours, pointed to the footage as an example of systemic racism and sexism at Syracuse University, according to local news reports.

Theta Tau is the fourth fraternity to be suspended by the university this academic year, according to The Daily Orange. The university suspended the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity last week following a monthslong investigation into hazing.

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