SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — After at least six racially-biased incidents at Syracuse University beginning November 7th, the school is taking the steps necessary to move forward.
Around 6:00 am Sunday morning, a statement was sent to all students, faculty and staff from Chancellor Kent Syverud, suspending all fraternity social activities until the end of the semester.
This comes after the Department of Public Safety linked several members of a campus fraternity to at least one of the racial incidents that have taken place on S-U’s campus. DPS reportedly identified the individuals using security camera footage, eyewitness accounts, and interviews.
Shawn Depaz, a senior at Syracuse says, “I honestly kind of just think it’s a band aid to the issue. I think it might prevent certain things because they can’t get together, and that might prevent things from happening, but it doesn’t really address the underlying issues that are plant the campus right now of people just not respecting each other.”
“He was trying to move in the right direction but like ultimately, it like won’t work out in my opinion,” says sophomore, Ismael Anandane.
In Syverud’s statement, he says while only one fraternity may be involved with the racial incidents, he believes all fraternities need to reflect on this behavior.
“While only one fraternity may have been involved in this particular incident, given recent history, all fraternities must come together with the University community to reflect upon how to prevent recurrence of such seriously troubling behavior,” said Syverud.
Sunday evening, the Chancellor and other Syracuse University officials posted another video on the University’s website.
DPS Police Chief, Bobby Maldonado, says a total of $50,000 will be made available for rewards for information leading to an arrest or actionable referral to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Two new shuttles have been added, providing service between College Place, and East Neighborhood, and South Campus locations. Students needing an escort should call (315) 443-SAFE (7233).
He also notes that the Department of Public Safety is also making changes to its staffing, increasing shifts from 10 hours to 16 hours in the wake of these incidents and increasing property checks.
But many students are still demanding action.
Anandane says, “I know the students who are a part of the protests in the Barnes Center created a short list of demands and like, long list of demands so I think if those were to be done first, we’d see more change on campus.”
“I just hope that the campus actually, or that the Chancellor and the administration actually listen to the demands of the students because it seems at times that the administration is really disconnected from what the students really like believe and what we really need,” says Depaz.
Students are continuing to protest in the SU Barnes Center. They say that they’ll give Chancellor Syverud until Wednesday, November 22 to take formal action.
Meanwhile, the Department of Public Safety is continuing to investigate the other incidents, including the anti-Asian graffiti found in Haven Hall Saturday, the swastika found drawn in the snow on Walnut Avenue Thursday and the anti-Asian and anti-African American graffiti found in Day Hall on November 7.
Anyone with information is asked to contact DPS at (315) 443-2224 or Syracuse Police at (315) 442-5222.