Theta Tau | Chancellor Kent Syverud Addressed SU Community

Saturday, Apr 21, 2018 at 4:47 pm by Taylor Lang

By Conor Wight – Syracuse, N.Y. (CitrusTV) – This afternoon Chancellor Kent Syverud sent an e-mail to the Syracuse University community with an update on the Theta Tau investigation.

The SU chapter of Theta Tau is permanently expelled and DPS is currently investigating 38 individuals in connection to the video released this week, Syverud said.

The full video can be found here with transcription below.

“I want to continue to communicate directly and openly about the disgusting video most of you have now seen, and I am committed to doing so. I want to briefly update you first on what is going on in connection with the status of the chapter of Theta Tau at Syracuse University. Second, on the investigation and disciplinary process of the students involved. And third, on the next steps by the University and our community.

First, we are permanently expelling the Syracuse University chapter of Theta Tau. Today, Dean of Students Robert Hratsky delivered a letter to Theta Tau leadership confirming this decision. This follows the immediate action we took within 2 hours of receiving and authenticating the video. As you know at that time we immediately suspended the chapter halting all of its activities. The racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, ableist and sexist video was part of a Theta Tau sponsored event.

Second, the investigation of individual students involved has been pursued with speed and with vigor. In the last 72 hours, our department of public safety has interviewed 38 individuals with more to be completed over the next few days. By the end of this weekend, DPS will begin recommending charges and making referrals of students to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, the office responsible for our student disciplinary process. That office will immediately initiate the student judicial process, which will determine the outcomes that are required. The students have rights in this process and they will be observed; outcomes could include suspension or expulsion from Syracuse University. The process can include a hearing for each student and each student can appeal the outcome of the hearing to the University appeals board. Dean Hratsky makes the final decision. I have asked Dean Hratksy to report to me on Monday how long the judicial process will take and to move expeditiously and fairly. We will report an update to you again on this on Monday.

Third, next steps by the University and our community. I have learned a lot in the last 72 hours listening to students in the Schine Center and in encounters across this campus, at meetings with student leaders and with the Diversity and Inclusion Council. I have also learned from colleagues and students who attended forums across campus and who have written to me. We have a lot of work to do, and concrete steps are more important than any words I can speak today. Clearly the first and most critical step is expelling the fraternity; now, we are focused on leading the investigation of the individuals involved to a swift and fair conclusion. Yet we know this issue extends beyond one fraternity and one video, and that is why simultaneously we have begun a top to bottom review of our entire Greek system, and yesterday after speaking with students I have committed to transforming our first year forum. Our students want that forum to be more effective in creating a more inclusive campus environment. I will work with students in our community on other steps.

I want to thank everyone who cares about Syracuse University and who has spoken up and acted for our values in the last few days. I thank everyone who has emphatically rejected bigotry and hatred. At its best, Syracuse University is a place for people who come from all backgrounds, who are all orange. Every single one of us who is orange deserves every day and in every place, including in classrooms and in fraternities, to be treated with civility and respect. I thank you.”

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