SYRACUSE, new york – Syracuse University suspended 15 members of a fraternity after the release of a video relating to securities that racial slurs and simulating a sexual assault of a person with a disability, lawyers for the students said Friday.
Theta Tau fraternity members were informed by the school Tuesday that they faced an indefinite suspension of one or two years, most of them for harassment, said attorney Karen Felton.
Video posted by a high school newspaper in April showed a group of men laugh at the performance interrupted by racist language against blacks, Jews and Hispanics, and simulated sexual acts. The images led to protests on the campus and national news.
The fraternity apologized for what the members said was a “satirical sketch” at a private event the image of an uneducated, intolerant person.
But the university banned the fraternity and started disciplinary actions against individual students. The school on Friday said it could not comment on the specifics of the sanctions because of federal privacy laws.
Students planned to appeal to the school and were preparing for litigation, said Felton.
“I think that all of the students are willing to leave and want to go to another school. I think the question is whether they will be able to be in a different school when they are on their transcript the scarlet letter of being suspended for harassment,” said the Syracuse University professor Gregory Germain, a consultant for a number of students during the disciplinary process.
The university and dean of students Robert Hradsky, said in a letter to the students and the staff said that the case was conducted fairly and smoothly.
“It is now time for our community to focus on the important work of promoting a more inclusive campus community,” he said.