"I solemnly swear to always have hatred in my heart for n*ggers, sp*cs and most importantly the fuckin' k*kes." That was the "oath" members of Syracuse University engineering fraternity, Theta Tau, seemed encouraged to recite in an online video obtained by the college's student newspaper Wednesday, igniting widespread protests across campus, Syracuse.com reports.
The video obtained by the Daily Orange was said to be one of many filmed at the frat's house and posted to a secret Facebook group, reportedly by an SU senior and chapter member. According a Syracuse spokeswoman, they were then "sent to university officials," as the New York Times reports. In a campus-wide email sent out Wednesday, Syracuse University chancellor Kent Syverud said that the fraternity had been "immediately suspended."
"[The videos] include words and behaviors that are extremely racist, anti-semitic, homophobic, sexist, and hostile to people with disabilities," Syverud wrote. "I am appalled and shaken by this and deeply concerned for all members of our community."
According to the Daily Orange, the fraternity members engage in all kinds of horrific behavior in the various online videos—including an apparent Holocaust reference, when someone shouts "you fuckin’ k*kes, get in the fuckin’ showers!" In another, someone yells, "he’s drooling out of his mouth because he’s retarded in a wheelchair." Students are also told to talk "about their significant others while drinking different wines and talking in gay girly accents."
On Wednesday, students across Syracuse's campus joined up in protest, arguing that the hateful behavior expressed in the videos wasn't isolated to the walls of the Theta Tau house. Syracuse.com reports that nearly 400 students crammed into the school's Hendricks Chapel Wednesday night for a three-hour forum, sharing first-hand experiences of racism and sexism at Syracuse and voicing ideas for strategic, meaningful change.
Michael Abraham, executive director of the national Theta Tau organization, said that in terms of deciding on some kind of possible punishment, "we tend to distinguish between words and deeds as well as between individuals and groups when determining appropriate remedies and penalties." According to Syverud, the school's Department of Public Safety was also working "to identify individuals involved and to take additional legal and disciplinary action."
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.
Follow Lauren Messman on Twitter.