Just as Syracuse University permanently expelled an engineering fraternity for a “racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic” video, a second video was made public showing members of the same fraternity miming the sexual assault of a person with disabilities.
In the two-minute video, which again features members of Theta Tau, one young man wearing a helmet sits in a wheeled office chair as another person describes him as “brain dead from being chronically whipped.”
“He’s drooling out of his mouth because he’s retarded in a wheelchair,” a fraternity member says in the video, before three people surround the person in the chair and appear to mimic forcing him to perform oral sex. Others can be seen watching.
“They leave the helmet on for protection, but they don’t protect themselves,” the fraternity member says.
The video, like the one that surfaced last week, was also initially posted to a secret Facebook page and obtained by the Daily Orange, the student newspaper, which published the new footage Saturday. That same day, Chancellor Kent Syverud announced the fraternity had been permanently expelled from campus, the Daily Orange reported.
In a statement Sunday, Syverud condemned the second video for its depiction of “sexual assault, physical violence and grotesque hostility toward and mockery of people with physical, intellectual and other disabilities.”
“The words and behaviors in the second video are appalling and disgusting on many intersecting grounds,” Syverud said. “They especially offend all Syracuse University holds dear about diversity and inclusion of people with disabilities.”
He added that the video’s content is “unacceptable and deeply harmful in many ways.”
Theta Tau was initially suspended last week after the first video — in which a member swears an oath “to always have hatred in my heart for” African Americans, Hispanics and Jews, using racial slurs to reference each group — was leaked.
The fraternity has since posted a statement to its website apologizing for the first video, calling its contents “despicable.”
The statement said the video was not meant to be racist but intended as a satirical roast of its own members, one of whom is “a conservative Republican.”
“It was a satirical sketch of an uneducated, racist, homophobic, misogynist, sexist, ableist and intolerant person,” the statement said. “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.”
It is unclear whether the second video was one of these sketches.
In addition to the fraternity’s permanent expulsion, Syverud said individual students involved with the video may face expulsion or suspension, according to the Daily Orange.
The university has begun an investigation and filed complaints against 18 people, the campus’s police chief, Bobby Maldonado, said in a statement Sunday.
Citing “an abundance of caution and ongoing concern” for the campus community, the students were notified of their removal from academic participation, Maldonado said in the statement, adding that alternative class and study arrangements will be made.
“There is absolutely no place at Syracuse University for tolerance of this behavior,” Syverud said in Sunday’s statement.
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