Syr-Accuse: University Will Now Punish Students Who Witness 'Bias-Motivated' Behavior and Don't Take Action

(AP Photo/Nick Lisi)
AP featured image
Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim yells to his players in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Syracuse, N.Y., Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Syracuse won 78-75. (AP Photo/Nick Lisi)


The pressure’s on at Syracuse University.

As reported by The Daily Wire, last year saw race-related incidents at the school.

One case involved a black woman who claimed fraternity members yelled racial epithets at her. Four students were suspended.

However, according to the fraternity’s national chapter, following “hours of voluntary interviews with authorities,” given all they “have learned, [they] can confirm that no member of Alpha Chi Rho directed racial slurs at anyone.”

Additionally, a white supremacist document was allegedly sent to students at the college’s library. That, in the words of the Wire, “turned out be a hoax.”

Nevertheless, it appears the Powers That Be aren’t taking any chances going into the new year.

An organization called NotAgain SU had pushed for anyone idly witnessing racial incidents to be expelled, but the administration’s not a fan.

Still, action’s being taken, Jack!

Last month, first diversity and inclusion officer Professor Keith Alford fired off a school-wide email:

“Our Black community and allies are demanding change—and rightfully so. We have seen our #NotAgainSU students, as well as Jewish, Indigenous and other students of color, describe their lived experiences at protests, on social media and via other platforms. Those stressful experiences—often shared anonymously—are a reminder that while we have made progress in recent years and months on our campus, we still have much more to do in addressing and eradicating racism, anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination and hate.

“We reject all acts of hate, but we can’t address each one with just words. What we can and must do is the collective work necessary to confront it every time. Any act of discrimination or harassment experienced on campus should be reported to the Office of Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services at [email protected]. Students, faculty and staff also may report incidents anonymously through the STOP BIAS portal.”


But that’s not all:

“The Code of Student Conduct has been revised, based on your input, to state that violations of the code that are bias-motivated—including conduct motivated by racism—will be punished more severely. The University also revised the code to make clear when bystanders and accomplices can be held accountable. The code will be prepared and distributed for students to sign in the fall.”

Keith noted in a list of recent events that “the killing of Black Americans has led our country to this moment of significant change,” and he promised the school is “committed to local social justice efforts.”

Furthermore: “As we continue to work on creating a campus that is just, equitable and inclusive, decisive changes are in motion. We will embrace the difficult and necessary conversations that are so critical to creating understanding and driving action.”

As for the disciplining of bystanders, Attorney and George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley’s less than impressed.

He conveyed such on his site.

“It does not go as far as the student group demanded in requiring expulsion, the rule also does not clearly state how silence or inaction will be judged in any given circumstance. It appears left up to the investigators. That uncertainty will prompt many to guarantee compliance by speaking or acting to avoid even the chance that they might be subjected to a highly damaging bias charge. “


As per Jonathan, “The school also warned that new cameras were being installed in ‘first-floor lounges,’ ‘public areas,’ and within residency hall elevators. Thus, any student who failed to immediately act would be observed and presumably at risk of being investigated or charged under the new rule.”

How’s that for a freshman experience?

Turley says the school’s had some microaggression-style problems already, and this won’t be helping:

“Recently, a student writer at Syracuse was sacked for simply questioning the basis for claims of institutional racism. What is viewed as bias-motivated speech for some is viewed as political speech by others. The new rule would suggest that even students who do not agree that an incident is ‘bias-motivated’ must still act to avoid scrutiny or punishment. Students could feel an obligation to prove that they are not racist by immediately and openly opposing such acts, lest they could be next to be accused.”

It seems to me that, for first-year students, college is already an intimidating endeavor — you’re on your own more than ever before, and you’re about to face a course load the likes of which (if done correctly) you’ve never seen before.

Now, at Syracuse — whether you’re a newbie or seasoned veteran — you’re an unwitting hall monitor for varying forms of rudeness? And the Eye in the Sky is watching?


I don’t understand much of anything that’s going on in America’s educational system these last few years. But I think I do understand this: It isn’t getting better.

In closing, I’ll school you on some Greatest Hits:

  • A cancellation of The Vagina Monologues because it excludes women who don’t possess vaginas (here)
  • A teacher forced to quit because he believes in accurate pronouns (here)
  • A banning of expensive coats because they’re unfair (here)
  • A banning of mean speech at the University of Montana (here)
  • A banning of personal prom transportation in the name of equity — plus a forced bus ride (here)
  • A cancellation of a Disney musical because it’s racist (here)
  • A barring of Chick-fil-A, against the literal vote of students, because it’s not politically “progressive” (here)



See more pieces from me:

Talk About Privilege: Public University Will Pay Race Revolutionary $20,000 For a Speech On ‘White Fragility’

Hollywood Heavyweight Won’t Tolerate Kamala Criticism: ‘I Hear You. I Know. And I Don’t Care’

Chicago Showdown: Following Continued Chaos, the City Adds 1,000 Officers to Stop the Insanity

Excuse Me While I Woke This Out: HBO Adds a Three-Minute-Plus Disclaimer to ‘Blazing Saddles’

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.


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