Western Courier

Syracuse isn’t the Greek life norm

Emma Johnson, Courier Staff

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Fraternity and sorority life is a large part of many students’ college experience. I myself am involved in a sorority on campus and I find it to be absolutely wonderful. However, a fraternity at Syracuse University has recently brought a lot of negative news coverage on Greek life.

The Theta Tau chapter at Syracuse University in New York is currently under a lot of scrutiny about recent videos that were released of their members. The first video is primarily of the men making racist and anti-Semitic comments. A few days later, a second video was released of the men making fun of the disabled. This video even went as far as pretending to perform sexual acts on a person in a wheelchair.

Over the past weekend, Syracuse University has taken legal measures and permanently expelled the Theta Tau chapter from being an organization on their campus. Eighteen members were also removed from class earlier this week and have begun the disciplinary proceedings by the university.

The students were removed from class as a precaution measure due to the response of outrage from the other students at the university. Last Wednesday, the students flooded to a Town Hall meeting to get the attention of the universities administration requesting them to take action against the Theta Tau chapter. This movement eventually led to the decision to permanently expel the chapter. Along with the town hall meeting, students have been having large marches and picketing throughout campus to show their disgust with the Theta Tau fraternity. The Theta Tau house has even been placed on 24 hour-a-day protection by the universities police department.

In response to all of this, the Theta Tau chapter has opened up to press claiming that the videos were a part of a skit done by their pledges to poke fun of one of their active brothers. They apologized by saying, “We cannot apologize enough for the pain, sadness and fear that this has caused.” According to a statement by one man from the fraternity, “The new members roasted him by playing the part of a racist conservative character” he said. It was a satirical sketch of an uneducated, racist, homophobic, misogynist, sexist, ableist and intolerant person. 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.”

Although apologetic as a chapter, five of the 18 men under investigation have opened up lawsuits against Syracuse University claiming that the school has “branded them as racist, anti-sematic [sic], sexist and hostile to people with disabilities.”

Being a member of Greek life here on our own campus, I find it very upsetting to see another organization behaving this way. It not only puts a negative viewpoint on fraternity and sorority life, but it is also very upsetting to all of the types of people targeted in their videos. I hope the situation in Syracuse gets sorted out, and I hope that all of our Greek organizations here on campus continue to be positive images of the Greek community

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Syracuse isn’t the Greek life norm