Syracuse Athlete Saying N-Word on Video Goes Viral after #NotAgainSU Protestors Suspended
As Syracuse University students continue to grapple with racism and the school’s mishandling of several reported racial incidents, a student protest group has shared a 2018 video of a freshman field hockey player repeatedly saying the N-word.
The student protest group #NotAgainSU posted an Instagram Live video, which was originally recorded when the player, Charlotte de Vries, was a junior at Conestoga High School in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. The video was apparently so offensive that the backlash reportedly caused de Vries to lose her athletic scholarship with the University of North Carolina, causing her to commit to SU a year later in March 2019, according to the school’s student newspaper, The Daily Orange.
The video surfaced a day after #NotAgainSU protesters were handed interim suspensions from the administration after occupying the school's Crouse-Hinds Hall administrative building to continue its months-long protest against reports of racism and anti-Semitism on campus.
More than 30 students were reportedly suspended for violating the school’s campus disruption policy on Tuesday morning (February 18) for staying in Crouse-Hinds after its closing at 9 p.m, The Daily Orange reported Tuesday.
“As a high school student, Charlotte used racist, hurtful and offensive language in a video that was posted on social media,” said Sarah Scalese, senior associate vice president for university communications, in a statement. “She has demonstrated deep and genuine remorse and has undergone and continues to participate in educational training on diversity and cultural sensitivity.”
The initial video of de Vries has more than 1.6 million views on Twitter since being posted in 2018. Shortly after it originally surfaced, she issued an apology.
“I realize that such words are offensive, uncalled for and, regardless of the situation, I should have known better,” she wrote in a statement via Conestoga High School’s newspaper. “I have begun to have conversations about how to move forward, and how to develop better sensitivity and understanding of the experiences and feelings of others.”
In a statement released prior to the protest, #NotAgainSU again called for the resignations of Syracuse Chancellor Kent Syverud, along with Dolan Evanovich, Senior Vice President for Enrollment and the Student Experience, Department of Public Safety Chief Bobby Maldonado, and Associate DPS Chief John Sardino.
More than 300 SU faculty, staff, alumni and students signed a letter Tuesday opposing the university’s temporary suspension of protest organizers.
“This (suspension) is an action of retaliation for peaceful protest, which the university pledged it would not do in Fall 2019,” the letter reads, in part.
They also took to Instagram to present the letter, captioning the post, in-part: “As the administration evidently continues to lack transparency, it’s paramount that we provide you all with factual information. Share this and make sure no misinformation is being spread!”
The length of the interim suspension is unclear. A call made to Syracuse officials on Wednesday morning has not been returned.
According to The Daily Orange, at least 26 hate crimes or bias incidents have occurred at or near campus since last November.