Syracuse Students Demand Change To System They Say Oppresses Minorities

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SU students at a town hall Wednesday. TOM MAGNARELLI / WRVO PUBLIC MEDIA

SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Syracuse University students are demanding changes to a system they say is oppressing marginalized groups on campus. This comes in the wake of racist and sexist videos from the Theta Tau fraternity, which got the organization expelled.

Students asked questions to the administration at a town hall Wednesday, organized by members of the Recognize US social movement. They are calling for an audit of all Greek Life at SU, required diversity and implicit bias training as a first year course, and the hiring of a more diverse faculty.

Students unfurl and hold up banners as Chancellor Kent Syverud speaks at a town hall. CREDIT TOM MAGNARELLI / WRVO PUBLIC MEDIA

Tara, a sophomore, who did not want to give her last name, said she thinks it is her responsibility to show support in making a more inclusive environment, especially after the videos rattled the campus and the country.

“We are customers of this university and they need to start taking our needs seriously versus what the basketball team is doing, and funding sports and things that don’t affect the students as much as the resources and the centers that help students grow and prosper,” Tara said.

Sophomore Allison Ingrum said she wants the leadership to listen more to students.

“I would like to see the administration of this school actually put in policies and make real change, rather than making PR moves, and making things that seem like they’re changing and seem like they’re listening, but actually putting in the real work and the real actions that students are demanding,” Ingrum said.

Five SU students involved in the Theta Tau videos are now suing the university. The lawsuit says the administration overreacted, rushed to judgment and is portraying the students as “criminals.”

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