The past 24 hours since the announcement of Theta Tau’s suspension have been a whirlwind of emotions affirming what many students have already known: a culture of discrimination and a deep societal and institutional divide for marginalized communities is and has been present on Syracuse University’s campus. The Theta Tau video is only a disappointing confirmation and tangible evidence of that. As The New York Times and USA Today pick up this story, it is important as a student media organization to facilitate important and productive conversation. That is why when SA reached out to Jerk Magazine to release a statement that included not only a response but most importantly a plan of action, we were happy to work with them.
Here is the statement they sent to us:
The members of Syracuse University Student Association (SA) recognizes that our community is hurting and feels unsafe about the recent offensive behavior of members of the fraternity Theta Tau. SA is deeply saddened and disturbed by the actions and are united together against bigotry. SA encourages students to denounce ignorant behavior in our community by accessing the RecognizeUs Facebook page and refusing to tolerate these behaviors by the campus community. SA hopes that all students and campus organizations on Syracuse University’s campus will be in solidarity against this ignorant behavior and bigotry, just as SA does in their support of the #RecognizeUs movement.
Actionable steps SA will take include:
- Hosting a student town hall on Monday, April 23, 2018 in Maxwell Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. to discuss student concerns in which students have the opportunity to talk to campus leaders;
- Supporting the development of a Task Force to unify the First-Year Forum that includes discussion-based bias education;
- Holding the University Council on Diversity and Inclusion accountable for the 33 steps they are in the process of taking to foster an inclusive environment;
- Encouraging students to voice their concerns at SA meetings at 7:30 p.m. on Monday nights in Maxwell Auditorium;
- And having a SA representative in the SA office throughout the day with extended hours into the evening to hear students’ concerns and how they can take action as an organization. There will be a student assembly representative on-call at all times. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
SA recognizes that these steps are just a start and will include more actionable goals in the near future.
– Student Association 61st Session