Today in What Horrible Racist and/or Homophobic and/or Anti-Semitic Thing Has a College Frat Done Now Goddammit?: Syracuse University has suspended the school’s chapter of engineering frat Theta Tau (yes, “engineering frat” is a thing) after video footage surfaced of members listing off a bunch of slurs directed at black people, Jewish people, gay people, people with disabilities, and women while other students watched and laughed. Wow, the future is bright, America.
The videos were first published by university paper the Daily Orange following the suspension. One excerpt from the Orange (asterisks theirs):
“I solemnly swear to always have hatred in my heart for n*ggers, sp*cs and most importantly the f*ckin’ k*kes,” the person on his knees repeats.
Before we get into the slur stuff, can I just say that this “I solemnly swear” line is the nerdiest junk I have ever heard (so help me god if it’s a Harry Potter reference) and these engineering geeks deserve to be shoved into lockers and given atomic wedgies posthaste. I’m sorry, it’s the law! Okay back to the awful Greek-life motivated hate speech.
In one of the videos, a fraternity member yells at other members to “get in the fuckin’ showers,” an apparent reference to Nazi gas chambers. In other recordings, according to the Daily Orange, students can be heard mocking women, gay people, and people with disabilities. All the while, several other students watch and laugh.
How any of these frat members thought it was a good idea to not only engage in such insanely vile behavior but then post it on social media is a mystery that solves itself pretty quickly when you realize that it’s a frat filled with white dudes who have never been challenged on their terrible beliefs because they’ve never voiced them anywhere but their terrible frat.
In an email to students yesterday, chancellor and president of Syracuse University, Kent Syverud, announced that the fraternity had been suspended in light of the “extremely troubling and disturbing conduct.” While Syverud said that he was “appalled and shaken by this and deeply concerned for all members of our community,” many students weren’t quite as shocked, viewing the video as a culmination of certain attitudes and prejudices that have permeated the school’s culture for a long time. As a Daily Orange editorial put it:
The video isn’t surprising — it’s a manifestation of microaggressions, rumors, whispers and outright acts of hatred marginalized students encounter in their time at SU. The only difference between this display of prejudice and so many others that go unnoticed at the university is that someone recorded it, and it got out.
As the Washington Post pointed out, this is the FOURTH TIME Syracuse has suspended a fraternity THIS YEAR. Again, not the most surprising, but maybe having to suspend four entire frats is an indication that something is not working! Just saying!!