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Syracuse University permanently expels fraternity after offensive video

SU_Frat_Video.jpg
The Daily Orange YouTube page

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Syracuse University expelled a fraternity over an offensive video that members say was intended as satire, but the controversy is continuing with the emergence of more video simulating a sexual assault of a disabled person.

Chancellor Kent Syverud called the latest video clip of crude behavior at Theta Tau “appalling and disgusting” in a statement Sunday.

“I am deeply concerned about how the continuing exposure to hateful videos is causing further hurt and distress to members of our campus community,” he said, while acknowledging that university had known about the latest clip since the first one emerged and sparked outrage on Wednesday. The chancellor said he hadn’t spoken specifically about the additional video earlier because of ongoing police and student disciplinary investigations.

He and other administrators gathered with students to discuss the matter Sunday evening.

Theta Tau’s Syracuse chapter apologized Friday for the initial video, saying it was part of a “satirical sketch of an uneducated, racist, homophobic, misogynist, sexist, ableist and intolerant person.”

“Nothing like this will ever again be tolerated,” the chapter said on its website. “Not in private, not as part of a joke — not ever.”

Campus newspaper The Daily Orange posted the latest video Saturday, shortly after Theta Tau’s expulsion. The clip appears to stem from the same event as the earlier video, which showed men laughing uproariously at performances punctuated by pantomimed sex acts and racist language about blacks, Jews and Hispanics.

Some students contended that video illustrated larger issues of racism and sexism at the university, and the clip prompted a protest march and a three-hour “community dialogue” gathering Wednesday.

Still more videos are under investigation, Syverud said Sunday.

Syracuse’s Department of Public Safety Chief Bobby Maldonado announced Sunday that complaints have been filed against 18 members of Theta Tau, and that the students involved have been removed from all academic participation. Maldonado said alternative class and study arrangements are being made for the students. The current semester ends May 9.

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