Four students at Syracuse University have been suspended in connection with a string of racist and anti-Semitic incidents, school officials said.
Chancellor Kent Syverud announced the interim suspensions Wednesday, three days after Syracuse administrators canceled all social activities at fraternities for the rest of the semester in response to a black student who said she was verbally assaulted on campus late Saturday.
Four of the 14 people involved in the incident were Syracuse students and nine of them are enrolled at other universities, where officials have been informed of the allegations, Syverud said.
“The student who was reported to be the most aggressive in this incident is affiliated with Rutgers University,” Syverud told the university senate. “The entire case has also been referred to the Onondaga County District Attorney.”
In all, there have been 12 reported incidents of racist and anti-Semitic graffiti found on or near the university’s campus. Investigators believe up to five members of the university’s community are responsible for the hate speech, Syverud said.
Separately, Syverud said reports that some Syracuse students had received a white supremacist manifesto via AirDrop — indicating the sender was nearby, since the service allows Apple users to share material via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi — were likely false.
“To date, law enforcement has not been able to locate a single individual who directly received an AirDrop,” the chancellor said. “Not one. It was apparent that this rumor was probably a hoax, but that reality was not communicated clearly and rapidly enough to get ahead of escalating anxiety.”
The university’s newspaper, the Daily Orange, reported that the manifesto is the same 74-page document authored by the suspected New Zealand mosque gunman who livestreamed himself slaughtering 49 people in March.
A group of students, meanwhile, called for Syverud to resign unless he signed a list of demands in the aftermath of the incidents, Syracuse.com reports.
“That was hard to listen to,” Syverud said, making no indication that he planned to step down. “I‘ve heard what has been said.”