SYRACUSE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A group of 18 Syracuse University students face disciplinary charges after videos emerged showing Theta Tau fraternity members using racial slurs and simulating a sexual assault of a disabled person.
Department of Public Safety Chief Bobby Maldonado announced Sunday that investigators had filed complaints against the students. The move follows up on his statement Sunday that the investigation into the Theta Tau videos was continuing and others “may be implicated in the coming days,” possibly including expulsions.
Maldonado says the students were removed from class “out of an abundance of caution” and that alternative class and study arrangements are being made for them.
On Sunday, the University expelled the fraternity after a second video emerged, another clip that Chancellor Kent Syverud called “appalling and disgusting” crude behavior by the Theta Tau members.
“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 the New York school had known about the latest clip since the first one emerged and sparked outrage on Wednesday.
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 national engineering fraternity’s chapter said on its website. “Not in private, not as part of a joke — not ever.”
The Syracuse chapter of the fraternity issues a statement of apology on Monday, saying it felt “profound embarrassment and disappointment in ourselves that we find our fraternity in this situation.”
“Anyone of color or of any marginalized group who has seen this video has every right to be angry and upset with the despicable contents of that video,” the chapter statement said. “For those of you who do not know Theta Tau, we are ashamed that this is the first time you’re hearing of us. Our house is not and has never been a place for hate… Of course, none of this can possibly excuse the words that came from our fraternity house last month, no matter the context the words were used in.”
Earlier on Monday the Anti-Defamation League offered its services to help the campus educate and address the messages shown in the videos.
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.