Photo: AP

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Syracuse University opted to suspend engineering fraternity Theta Tau after a student newspaper published footage of members conducting themselves in ways ‚Äúthat are extremely racist, ant-Semitic, homophobic, sexist and hostile to people with disabilities,‚ÄĚ according to university chancellor Kent Syverud.

In the six-minute video, which was first posted to a clandestine Facebook group called ‚ÄúTau of Theta Tau,‚ÄĚ and later obtained by independent student paper The Daily Orange, one member employs anti-Semitic jabs (‚Äúget in the fuckin‚Äô shower‚ÄĚ), while another repeats a pledge to always ‚Äúhave hatred in my heart‚ÄĚ for black people, Hispanics, and Jews (using a derogatory term for each).

Syverud wrote in an email that went out to students and faculty on Wednesday morning:

‚ÄúThere is absolutely no place at Syracuse University for behavior or language that degrades any individual or group‚Äôs race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, disability or religious beliefs. Upon confirming Theta Tau‚Äôs involvement, the university‚Äôs Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities immediately suspended the fraternity, effectively halting all activities.‚ÄĚ

The email also notes that Syracuse‚Äôs Department of Public Safety is trying ‚Äúto identify individuals involved and to take additional legal and disciplinary action.‚ÄĚ


The executive director of the national Theta Tau organization, Michael Abraham, who claimed not to have seen the video yet, also commented on the investigation and allegations, saying, ‚ÄúThe behaviors described are not representative of our very diverse organization locally or nationally, nor rational or comprehensible for the multiethnic Syracuse chapter itself.‚ÄĚ

The Times report eventually resorts to this inane transition: ‚ÄúTheta Tau is not the first fraternity, nor Syracuse the first university, to be involved in a scandal involving racism or sexism.‚ÄĚ This is like writing ‚Äúit‚Äôs not the first time President Trump tweeted something baffling or offensive.‚ÄĚ