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SU Theta Tau students suspended up to 2 years over offensive videos

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media File Photo
Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud spoke on the Theta Tau videos in April.

A number of Syracuse University fraternity students involved with racist and sexist videos that were released to the public this spring, have been suspended for up to two years. The videos made national headlines and caused an uproar on campus when they were first shown.

Chancellor Kent Syverud called the videos extremely racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, sexist, and hostile to people with disabilities. The Theta Tau fraternity was subsequently expelled. Students held protests and town hall meetings to demand change to a system they said is oppressing marginalized groups.

SU Law Professor Greg Germain advised some of the students during their hearings and said the process was not fair or open. The students were found guilty of harassment under three different policies, which Germain called, "Very weak stuff."

Students that were in the videos received longer suspensions, which ranged from one to two years.

They had until today to file an appeal, which will be heard by a new panel of administrators advised by a university lawyer.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.