SYRACUSE, N.Y. (CBS News/AP) — Protesters at New York’s Syracuse University have demanded that the school release videos showing racist and sexist behavior by members of a now-suspended fraternity.
The school’s chancellor, Ken Syverud, described the video involving members of Theta Tau, a professional engineering fraternity, as racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, sexist and hostile to people with disabilities. He said the videos were turned over to the school’s Department of Public Safety for possible disciplinary or legal action.
“I am appalled by this and deeply concerned for all members of our community,” Chancellor Kent Syverud wrote in an email, according to The Post-Standard.
Theta Tau said it is investigating and the behaviors described were not representative of its “very diverse organization.”
Most of what is said in the videos was posted to a private Facebook page, CBS affiliate WTVH-TV reports.
The Daily Orange student newspaper reports one of the videos shows a person appearing to take an oath saying, “I solemnly swear to always have hatred in my heart” for people described with racial and ethnic slurs.
At one point, one person tells others to talk about their significant others while drinking wine and talking in “gay, girly accents,” according to the newspaper.
The university is not releasing the videos although the chancellor said that he thinks they will get out.
Some students said they want the people who made the videos to take responsibility for their actions and learn from them, WTVH-TV reports.
“I don’t think it should be withheld to protect the individuals that did it,” junior Saumya Melwani told the station.
Syracuse University held a gathering Wednesday to promote “community dialogue.” Later, about 100 people marched through the campus carrying signs and chanting. Then, 400 attended a three-hour discussion, venting frustrations over what they view as systemic racism and sexism at the school.
The topics included a 2014 video that showed an SU women’s soccer player directing racial and homophobic slurs at another person.
Students at the discussion recommended leading by example, making certain African-American Studies courses mandatory and finding a better way to organize.
“This gives me a reason to stay here until they fix things,” Melwani said.
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