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Chancellor: SU fell short in response to racist incidents

Chancellor: SU fell short in response to racist incidents

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Syracuse Racism

Youngsters walk past the SU residence chapter of Alpha Chi Rho in 2019. The fraternity was suspended pending the investigation of a black student's complaint that she was called a racial slur as she walked by a group of people identified by the university as fraternity members and their guests.

SYRACUSE — Syracuse University's chancellor said the school “fell short” in responding to reports of racist graffiti on campus and resulting student protests last year.

Chancellor Kent Syverud promised reforms Monday after the release of a review by former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch that faulted aspects of the school's response to the incidents. The investigation was launched last February after students complained about campus police actions during sit-ins stemming from reports of racist graffiti and other bias-related incidents on campus.

The report concluded that the campus police department’s investigations of bias-related incidents were “generally thorough,” but said it did not always follow its own operating procedures. The Department of Public Safety and the administration need to do a better job communicating with students about “emotionally charged topics, including incidents of racist and anti-Semitic misconduct," according to the report.

“It is clear where we fell short. It is also clear that many of our students, particularly students of color, experienced the hate incidents on our campus in deeply personal and distressing ways,” Syverud said in an email to students, faculty and staff. “At times, actions taken by the University, including by DPS, exacerbated that fear. We let you down.”

Syverud said he was committed to strengthening trust and mutual respect on campus and would implement recommendations in the report.


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