Five students in the Theta Tau fraternity have anonymously filed a lawsuit against Syracuse University after a video of them using racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic language during a pledging event went viral.
According to a complaint, the college students accused the school of "branding them as racist, anti-sematic [sic], sexist and hostile to people with disabilities.”
The unidentified students said they were suspended from school, barred from classes, and subjected to "ridicule and scorn,” as a result of the incident, reported Syracuse.com.
They accuse SU of ignoring their rights and proper procedures as part of a hasty investigation and disciplinary process.
"All that [SU officials] have done is overract, speed to judgment and portray the students as 'criminals,'" the men said in their complaint.
In the video of the pledging event, Theta Tau brothers pretend to perform sexual acts on each other while reciting the oath: "I solemnly swear to always have hatred in my heart for n*****s, s***s and most importantly the f****n' k***s."
SU filed disciplinary charges against 18 students after the videos surfaced.
Several of the students said the timing of their punishment fell in the "crucial final weeks of the semester, threatening their academic success and survival."
"We are being forced through a shortened disciplinary process without the benefit of knowing the evidence the University has against us or a University representative to advise us," one of the students wrote in an affidavit.
According to the lawsuit, the videos were posted in a private Theta Tau Facebook group for about two weeks before an unknown person accessed them and disseminated them "without authorization" to the university and the student newspaper.
(Photo: Tony Shi Photography/Getty Images)
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