Syracuse University was repeatedly criticized for a failure to guarantee due process and free speech rights for both pupils. Presently a state judge has slammed the college within its treatment of a fraternity which the court saw”did nothing wrong” in a racial slur incident on campus. The University continues yet to shield a process that was replete with due process concerns. I have been a believer of the lack of due process within our campuses. This became especially severe if the Obama Administration forced universities to cut back such protections — a policy which the Biden Administration now appears to moving into reinstate.
At around 7 p.m.. The group abandoned the fraternity house, on foot. And headed into a nearby apartment and watch a basketball game. Even though they were walking together, among the people in the category — identified only as K.F. — briefly ran towards a girl standing out of a parked automobile (Id.) .
An investigation was started but the next morning University Chancellor Kent Syverud announced that the had been”deeply angered” and that”the people involved were identified and would be held appropriately accountable for the Code of Student Conduct and to the full extent of the law.” He promised to work together with the Syracuse Police Department to bring charges against those responsible. The court named Syverud’s comments a”apparently thwarted public statement” of guilt.
2 hearings were held however, in the critical second hearing, the college resisted the lawyer for the fraternity from being current — a denial of due process that has been utilized by other universities to hamper the safety of pupils or teams in such proceedings.
Then something remarkable occurred. The Appeals Board ruled that”University policy does not offer a foundation on which to obtain the respondent [fraternity] responsible for the behaviour which the lower Board found to have occurred” and further found that K.F.”was not a guest of the fraternity and is not a Syracuse University student.” Thus,”[he] could not serve as a representative of the fraternity and [there’s ] no additional foundation on which [the fraternity] could be held responsible for his alleged actions”
On the other hand, the college had already effectively announced guilt the day following the incident. So, in a unilateral decision, Senior Vice President for Enrollment Dolan Evanovich overruled the university’s appeals board. While Evanovich confessed that”it’s true the Code [of Student Conduct] does not explicitly cover guests of organizations, such an expectation is present during the University’s Fraternity and Sorority Affairs policies.”
Evanovich’s claim is roundly denied by the court:
There’s no provision in the Fraternity and Sorority Affairs coverage, and also the Code of Student Conduct, which makes it possible for the University to punish fraternities or the individual, off-campus actions of former guests (NYSCEF Docs. 9, 23, 26). Fraternities can’t police the statements of the former allies who depart campus, and it would be unreasonable to possess, or apply, a policy which punishes fraternities, or alternative pupil social organizations, for behavior it’s impossible for them to control. Though the Courts will generally defer to a university’s interpretation of its policies, such deference does not extend to”foolish or irrational” interpretations, like Evanovich advances here.
The record is clear: Alpha Chi Rho did nothing wrong. As the Conduct Board found, none of its fraternity members uttered any derogatory or racially offensive statements. Evanovich’s determination that the fraternity is nonetheless responsible for K.F.’s alleged offender — which occurred off-campus and was not witnessed by some fraternity members — has no logical foundation. Therefore, his rejection from the Appeals Board decision must be annulled as arbitrary (Pell v Board of Education of Union Free School District No.l, 34 NY2d 222,231 [ 974]), and also the Appeals Board decision reinstated.AXP, since the fraternity is known, speculated that Syracuse wanted to act tough in reaction to continuing protests against alleged racial graffiti in a short lived, so it created an instance of AXP.
Sites like College Fix have alleged that the first report of the complainant were contradicted by other witnesses and video proof. But, it’s difficult to judge such proof either way given the absolute lack of due process given by the college. From the start of the controversy, the Syracuse University seemed to abandon the pretense of neutrality or responsibility in the adjudication of the dispute. This proved to be a very serious allegation that deserves intensive investigation. However, the college went outside saying a commitment to discovering the truth and acted in strategies to prejudice the results of the proceedings.
The college remains unapologetic and seemingly undeterred. Much like the recent incident at Smith College, there’s no indication that it will change its practices or manage more due process protections in the future. That is a frightening prospect for pupils and parents who rely on Syracuse University to safeguard the rights of all students.
Here’s the view: Alpha Chi Rho v. Syracuse University
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