Syracuse University has suspended its chapter of engineering fraternity Theta Tau after a controversial video emerged showing fraternity members mocking gay, black, Jewish and Hispanic people.
The Daily Orange, an independent student newspaper ran by Syracuse Univesity students, posted a video from the chapter’s private Facebook page called “Tau of Theta Tau.”
In the video, the members perform a narrative that uses racist, sexist, homophobic and ableist language while also simulating sexual acts on each other.
‘I solemnly swear to always have hatred in my heart for n******, s**** and most importantly the f****** k****,” one member says during the video.
“You f–king k—s, get in the f–king showers,” another member says in reference to the gas chamber.
One member also gets on his knees in front of another member and says “F*** black people” while simulating oral sex.
According to the Daily Orange, in an unreleased video from the Facebook page, one person sits in a rolling chair while another person tells him “He’s drooling out of his mouth because he’s retarded in a wheelchair.”
In another part of the recording, a person says “Get together and [talk] about their significant others while drinking different wines and talking in gay, girly accents.”
Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud called the students’ behavior “extremely racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, sexist, and hostile to people with disabilities,” in a statement on Wednesday.
The fraternity chapter released its own statement explaining that the “satirical video” was meant to roast a conservative Republican member in the fraternity.
“It’s with profound embarrassment and disappointment in ourselves that we find our fraternity in this situation,” the statement reads from Theta Tau on its website. “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.”
“Each semester our new members are given the opportunity to write and act out a skit, in order to roast the active brothers. This event was never intended to be centered around racism or hate. This year, one of these brothers is a conservative Republican, and the new members roasted him by playing the part of a racist conservative character,” the statement continues.“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.”
The national Theta Tau organization also released a statement saying that “the content of the video is unacceptable and directly violates the values and expectations that have been put in place for all of our chapters.”
Even though the video was meant as a skit, the organization says “this does not excuse the behavior.”