5 Theta Tau members file federal lawsuit against Syracuse University

Five unnamed members of Theta Tau fraternity have filed a federal lawsuit against Syracuse University, contesting the...

Posted: Apr 26, 2018 6:55 AM
Updated: Apr 26, 2018 6:55 AM

Five unnamed members of Theta Tau fraternity have filed a federal lawsuit against Syracuse University, contesting the decision to suspend them after a series of disturbing videos filmed at fraternity events surfaced.

The videos depict "egregious behavior," including sexual assault, violence, discriminatory mockery and hostility toward people with disabilities, University Chancellor Kent Syverud said in a statement Sunday.

But the complaint asserts that the videos do not depict unlawful behavior. "Several times, University officials have described the conduct as criminal despite District Attorney William Fitzpatrick stating there was 'nothing' criminal about the videos," the complaint says. The suit seeks a reversal of their suspension and one million dollars in damages for each of the five members.

The university would not comment on the specifics of the lawsuit.

Over the weekend, the university announced it had expelled the engineering fraternity from campus. "The University stands by the actions it took to protect the well-being of the campus community and maintain a respectful and safe learning environment," said Sarah Scalese, Associate Vice President for Communications.

The Theta Tau central office vowed to take action based on findings from an investigation. "Theta Tau is deeply troubled by the recent events that occurred at our chapter at Syracuse University, and we strongly condemn the offensive actions and despicable language depicted in the recently released videos," the central office said in a statement.

"We have cooperated fully with university and police officials, and we will pursue appropriate disciplinary measures in the near future to hold the individuals accountable for their actions."

The central office did not respond to CNN's request for comment about the lawsuit.

Why the students were removed

Syracuse said Monday that it removed the 18 students from classes as a precautionary measure.

"Out of an abundance of caution and ongoing concern for our campus community, Provost Michele Wheatly and Dean of Students Rob Hradsky notified the 18 students of their removal from academic participation, effective immediately," Public Safety Chief Bobby Maldonado said in a statement.

"Alternative class and study arrangements will be made for these students as the judicial process moves forward,"

In addition to the 18, more students may be implicated as the investigation continues, he added.

The university will review the Greek life culture to establish new practices and require bias training for Greek and student organization leaders, members and advisers, and mandatory student training will be implemented, Syverud wrote in a letter to alumni last week.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 144544

Reported Deaths: 3729
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto956999
Hinds9541193
Harrison6825105
Jackson6068116
Rankin523796
Lee480294
Madison4602102
Forrest367185
Jones344687
Lauderdale3343142
Lafayette313347
Washington3088106
Lamar281849
Bolivar237883
Oktibbeha237760
Lowndes228362
Neshoba2171113
Panola211047
Marshall207247
Leflore200789
Pontotoc193227
Monroe189577
Sunflower189554
Lincoln183964
Warren172157
Tate163349
Union160125
Pike160058
Copiah158840
Yazoo150638
Scott149929
Coahoma147342
Itawamba145533
Alcorn143724
Simpson143553
Pearl River142967
Prentiss139526
Grenada136344
Adams135948
Leake131643
Holmes124461
George121623
Tippah120930
Covington117234
Winston115824
Wayne115722
Hancock114137
Marion110746
Attala106233
Tishomingo106042
Newton102829
Chickasaw102332
Tallahatchie94727
Clarke88253
Clay86726
Jasper81121
Walthall74328
Stone72314
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71213
Carroll70514
Lawrence69914
Noxubee69017
Smith68616
Yalobusha67926
Perry65225
Tunica59519
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54117
Humphreys52518
Amite50814
Benton48217
Quitman4786
Webster41614
Kemper40815
Wilkinson38422
Jefferson34011
Franklin3185
Sharkey30617
Choctaw3057
Issaquena1114
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 234080

Reported Deaths: 3459
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson30620491
Mobile19306358
Tuscaloosa12501148
Madison12410146
Montgomery12040232
Shelby980576
Baldwin826984
Lee753964
Morgan618247
Calhoun5997113
Etowah590564
Marshall581953
Houston507038
DeKalb463535
Cullman412636
Limestone404544
St. Clair398455
Elmore393961
Lauderdale382953
Walker349096
Talladega335942
Colbert296341
Jackson291924
Blount276336
Autauga263439
Franklin244833
Coffee233415
Dale226654
Dallas220231
Russell21803
Chilton216937
Covington212533
Escambia194431
Tallapoosa169290
Chambers168048
Pike155514
Clarke155419
Marion134535
Winston123723
Lawrence122436
Geneva11748
Marengo116924
Barbour116110
Pickens115318
Bibb114217
Butler113741
Randolph99821
Cherokee98924
Hale91631
Washington90018
Clay89423
Fayette84416
Henry8426
Lowndes78729
Monroe76811
Cleburne74414
Crenshaw70330
Macon70020
Bullock69019
Conecuh66814
Perry6686
Lamar6267
Wilcox62418
Sumter55322
Choctaw41713
Greene40217
Coosa3074
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Few Clouds
58° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 58°
Columbus
Scattered Clouds
58° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 58°
Oxford
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 57°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
57° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 57°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather