Campus Reform | NY Supreme Court judge overturns suspension of Syracuse fraternity, says they 'did nothing wrong'

NY Supreme Court judge overturns suspension of Syracuse fraternity, says they 'did nothing wrong'

A New York State Supreme Court judge has overturned a suspension of a Syracuse University fraternity.

A New York State Supreme Court judge has reversed Syracuse University's suspension of a fraternity who was initially punished because a guest yelled a racial slur after being at the fraternity house.

According to Syracuse.comwhen the fraternity, Alpha Chi Rho, was suspended in 2019, the chancellor for Syracuse University, Kent Syverud said that "substantial evidence" existed which proved that members and guests of the fraternity engaged in racist activities.

Initially, the Syracuse University Appeals Board reversed the decision to suspend the fraternity, but their ruling was invalidated by E. Dolan Evanovich, SU’s senior vice president of enrollment and the student experience

[RELATED: Illinois fraternity fails social distancing test. It's now paying the price.]

However, New York Supreme Court Judge Scott DelConte said in his opinion that Syverud was wrong, and Alpha Chi Rho "did nothing wrong."

“The record is clear: Alpha Chi Rho did nothing wrong,” DelConte wrote in his opinion.

According to DelConte, only one person yelled a racial slur, and that person was not a member of the fraternity, but rather someone who was a guest of a member at the fraternity on the day he made the racial slur. In addition, the remark occurred off-campus.

[RELATED: University suspends fraternity members over constitutionally protected speech]


DelConte said that there is no evidence that any members of the fraternity were present when the guest yelled the racial slur, and there's "no provision in the Fraternity and Sorority Affairs policy, or the Code of Student Conduct, that allows the University to punish fraternities for the independent, off-campus actions of former guests."

“There is no provision in the Fraternity and Sorority Affairs policy, or the Code of Student Conduct, that allows the University to punish fraternities for the independent, off-campus actions of former guests,” DelConte wrote in his opinion. “Fraternities cannot police the statements of their former guests who leave campus, and it would be unreasonable to have, or apply, a policy that punishes fraternities, or other student social organizations, for conduct they cannot control.”

DelConte also said that there's "no rational basis" for the fraternity to be responsible for the racist remark.

Campus Reform reached out to Syracuse University, but did not receive a response.