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Expelled Syracuse University fraternity students taking action against school

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR) - Four prospective members and one active member of the Theta Tau fraternity have filed a lawsuit against Syracuse University over treatment of the brothers since their now viral, offensive video surfaced.

Five unnamed Theta Tau members name SU, the university's chancellor Kent Syverud, and other student academic offices in the lawsuit, claiming the university groups have "overreacted, sped to judgment and portraying the students as 'criminals.'" 

The suit says the school has labeled these students as "racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, sexist and hostile to people with disabilities," and that the school had "expelled the fraternity for nothing more than being identifiable in the recording."

The suit continues to say the school subjected the men to ridicule and scorn.

A video, which was posted in a private Facebook group, became public last week, depicting offensive behavior like racial slurs and homophobic and anti-Semitic language. 

The fraternity said the skit was supposed to be satirical and hyperbolic. 

The five men who brought the suit against the school are named as prospective members of the Theta Tau fraternity in the lawsuit.

They are seeking damages for injuries to their reputation caused by the university's "malicious acts." 

Each of the five prospective members in the lawsuit are seeking over $1 million each for "past and future mental anguish and distress, irreparable damage to their reputation and humiliation, resulting in direct and consequential damages."

The Theta Tau fraternity has been expelled as a Greek organization at Syracuse. The members involved have been removed from academic participation.

The investigation is ongoing. The University said the punishments for 18 students in the video could range from suspension to expulsion from the school, raising questions about what it could mean for Theta Tau seniors graduating in May. 

"Syracuse University does not comment on the specifics of pending litigation. 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," a spokesperson for the university said. 


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