Syracuse University Investigating White Supremacist Manifesto

CBS News
November 19, 2019 - 7:42 am

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Syracuse, New York — Syracuse University says it's investigating "multiple reports" of a purported white supremacist manifesto being posted in an online forum and "air dropped" to several cell phones of people in the school's library.

AirDrop is an Apple messaging app.

The school said the reports haven't been confirmed and no one's reported getting an air-dropped manifesto, but it's urging anyone who does to contact school safety officials.

The school said it notified Syracuse and New York State Police and the FBI.

It also asked anyone traveling on campus to call for a safety escort and sign up for the LiveSafe App for smartphones.

The word came as the university was looking into another report of racist graffiti at Day Hall, the eighth bias-related incident on campus this month and fourth in that dorm alone, according to CBS Syracuse affiliate WTVH-TV. Officers were interviewing residents Monday night.

Syracuse suspended all fraternity activities for the rest of the semester in the wake of the racist and anti-Semitic incidents reported at the school, CBS New York reports In one of the most recent, a female student said several fraternity members and their guests verbally attacked her, calling her the N-word.

It occurred Saturday night and prompted protests at the school.

Syracuse Chancellor Kent Syverud posted a video message to students, staff and alumni, hoping to calm the outrage. "I have deep appreciation of the pain, anger and anxiety recent events have caused on our campus," Syverud said. "The social activities of all fraternities have been suspended for the remainder of this semester."

In a statement obtained by CBS News, Syverud said university leaders spent all night investigating the incidents. The Department of Public safety had assembled substantial evidence, including security camera video, eyewitness accounts and interviews, regarding the Saturday night incident. 

"The individuals involved have been identified and will be held appropriately accountable to the Code of Student Conduct and to the full extent of the law," Syverud said. "We are working with the Syracuse Police Department, and we intend to bring this investigation to a swift and successful conclusion."

Isaac Howland, who goes to Syracuse, compared the punishment of no social events for a month to a slap on the wrist. "There's definitely like bubbling tension," the graduate student told CBS New York. "It doesn't seem like it's gonna have much long-lasting effect beyond the semester or, at best, next semester. It's just like, yeah, you guys can't throw any more parties."

In other racially-charged incidents at Syracuse, cars parked on campus have been defaced with racist symbols and anti-Asian and anti-Semitic graffiti. Now, university public safety cars are parked outside various dorms and buildings where these incidents occurred.

But that didn't stop another incident from occurring Monday, when the university's Department of Public Security announced it was investigating "racist graffiti using language that is derogatory to African Americans" on the fifth floor of a residence hall.

Students have held peaceful protests like sit-ins to demand a different punishment for the perpetrators. The students' list of demands for university officials includes allocating $1 million to create new curriculum on diversity issues. They've given the university a Wednesday deadline.