April 22, 2018 / 3:23 AM / 2 years ago

Syracuse University expels fraternity over 'racist, sexist' video

(Reuters) - Syracuse University has permanently expelled a fraternity after a video surfaced this week showing its members using racist and offensive terms in a skit the chapter said was satirical, a school official said on Saturday.

The university’s chapter of Theta Tau, an engineering fraternity, has been barred immediately from campus, Chancellor Kent Syverud said in a video statement posted to the university website.

“The racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, ableist and sexist video was part of a Theta Tau sponsored event,” Syverud said.

The video depicts a group of fraternity members laughing as they use offensive terms for African-Americans, Latinos, and others.

After it became public, the video triggered protests at the private, 22,000-student university located in upstate New York.

The fraternity did not immediately respond to an email for comment on the expulsion.

But on Friday, the fraternity posted an apology on its website to “everyone affected by the racist video.”

“Theta Tau is made up of a diverse group of engineering students from a variety of nationalities, beliefs, and backgrounds, and we strongly believe that racism has no place on a university campus,” the statement said.

The fraternity went on to say that it is a tradition for the chapter to roast new brothers, and that one of them is a conservative Republican.

“It was a satirical sketch of an uneducated, racist, homophobic, misogynist, sexist, ableist and intolerant person,” the statement said. “The young man playing the part of this character nor the young man being roasted do not hold any of the horrible views espoused as a part of that sketch.”

Syverud said that the school is still investigating the incident, and that individual members could be disciplined, including possible suspensions or expulsions.

The university also is conducting a “top-to-bottom review of our entire Greek system,” he said.

Reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver; Editing by Stephen Coates

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