SU assistant professor says campus protests should spark changes nationwide

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A Syracuse University assistant professor said the ‘offensive’ video from the Theta Tau fraternity is sparking changes that need to be made beyond just SU.

“It’s difficult to be in a space where you are part of an institution that is in desperate need of restructuring to be honest. That doesn’t mean that it hasn’t made strides but it does mean there’s work to do as the Theta Tau case makes clear,” explained assistant professor of religion, Biko Gray.

That means work to do by students, and administration. 

Chancellor Kent Syverud recognized that and, in a letter sent to students, faculty, and alumni, he called for action in the form of implicit bias training and enhanced new student forums, to name a few.

Gray argued that may not be enough.

He added, “Implicit bias is the quick route. It’s the one that we can reduce to an individual person, or an individual group of people, and that works if you’re only concerned with changing individuals, but the work is at the institutional level.”

For now, though, he said severe action should be taken to show that Syracuse University won’t stand for the kind of behavior demonstrated in Theta Tau’s video.

“I’m vulnerable as a faculty member, but I will say that these particular students that were involved in this have to be expelled and that’s not something that takes too long,” he said. “I think that’s something that can happen relatively quickly. I think Theta Tau as an institution, not suspended, but done away with on this campus.”

Local fraternity members of Theta Tau did issue an apology letter to the community.

It said they strongly believe racism has no place on a university campus.

It also attempted to explain the context in which the video was created. You can read the full statement here.
 

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