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Message from Thomas Wolfe, SU Senior VP for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Regarding YouTube Video

June 25, 2011

SU News Services

Dear Members of the SU Community: 

On behalf of Chancellor Cantor, I am writing to update you regarding an incident of hate speech that came to light yesterday afternoon, and to inform you of the University’s actions regarding it. 

Syracuse University takes any incident of hate speech, bias-related activity, or intolerance extremely seriously.  Immediately upon learning of this incident, the University began investigating the facts surrounding a YouTube video posted yesterday, that appeared to show two SU students engaged in hate and bias-related speech toward several SU students of Asian descent. 

Through an investigation, our Department of Public Safety identified and interviewed all the individuals involved in the incident, and the investigation has now concluded. The incident shown in the video did occur at approximately 2 a.m. on the morning of June 23, at an off-campus apartment complex.  The two individuals who were shown in the video engaging in hate speech have been identified as current SU students.  While federal privacy law and University policy prohibit us from providing identifying information about the two responsible students, they will face disciplinary action under the Code of Student Conduct through the University’s Office of Judicial Affairs.  

We have reached out to the students who were the targets of the hate speech and have offered them support services, counseling, and other resources. In addition, any member of the SU community who may feel impacted can seek support from the Counseling Center (443-4715), Hendricks Chapel (443-2901), and the Office of Multicultural Affairs (443-9676). 

As an institution of higher education, we seek to provide students with a safe and secure learning environment that is free of discrimination. We will not tolerate hate speech or bias-related harassment in any form. This is affirmed by the response of the SU community, as expressed through social media and other means, which is evidence of our caring community and reflective of our institutional values. 

We value and advocate for a diverse and inclusive community at Syracuse University and remain committed to strengthening campuswide efforts that address the deeper issue of bigotry, which exists at the core of such words. 

Sincerely, 

Thomas Wolfe

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