Cuomo Blasts Syracuse U Leadership After White-Supremacist Manifesto Allegedly AirDropped to Students

Cuomo Blasts Syracuse U Leadership After White-Supremacist Manifesto Allegedly AirDropped to Students
Cuomo Blasts Syracuse U Leadership After White-Supremacist Manifesto Allegedly AirDropped to Students  

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday blasted leadership at Syracuse University for its handling of ongoing hate speech and racist harassment on campus, which escalated overnight when a white-supremacist manifesto was allegedly AirDropped to some students' cell phones.

The university's Department of Public Safety announced in a campus-wide email early Tuesday morning that it was investigating reports that the hate manifesto, which students told The Daily Beast was the same one used by the Christchurch mosque shooter, was sent to student phones at Bird Library at around 1 a.m. It was also posted in an online discussion forum about Greek life just after 10 p.m., The Daily Orange, the student newspaper, reported.

"The hateful activities at Syracuse University are most disturbing, not only to the Syracuse University community, but to the greater community of New York," Cuomo said in a press release on Tuesday afternoon. "They have not been handled in a manner that reflects this state's aggressive opposition to such odious, reckless, reprehensible behavior. That these actions should happen on the campus of a leading New York university makes this situation even worse."

Earlier this month, Cuomo ordered state agencies to investigate hate speech on the upstate school's campus.

The university's DPS is working with the Syracuse Police Department, New York State Police, and the FBI to investigate the quickly escalating situation on campus, but the university's DPS said there was no "specific" threat to the school Tuesday, The Daily Orange reported.

In response to the events overnight, protesters have asked that the administration cancel classes and campus events.

"Students are scared for their own safety," tweeted Josh Meyers, a Syracuse student journalist, on Tuesday morning. "Campus is looking extra empty this morning."

"Students are truly terrified here," he told The Daily Beast.

The screed shared on Tuesday marks the 11th racist incident reported on campus since Nov. 6, including the Saturday night harassment of a black student by members of a fraternity who allegedly yelled the n-word at her as she waited for a bus. Others have included anti-Semitic and anti-Asian graffiti in the form of a swastika and slurs. The n-word was also reportedly found scribbled in residence halls and a physics building. In another incident, a student loudly yelled a racial slur against black Americans. Separately, a Chinese freshman reported a racial epithet being used against him.

University Chancellor Kent Syverud said in a letter to students and staff Sunday that he was "deeply angered by these events" and hours later announced a $50,000 reward for any evidence that leads to "the apprehension of the individual or individuals responsible for these heinous acts." The money came from a "generous" donor, he said. Otherwise, anyone with relevant information about the spate of incidents is encouraged to contact the Department of Public Safety directly.

But Cuomo said Tuesday, after hours of silence from the university administration in the wake of the manifesto's alleged release: "Despite his efforts, I do not believe Chancellor Syverud has handled this matter in a way that instills confidence."

"As we have learned repeatedly, these increasing exhibitions of hate and bigotry must be handled strongly, swiftly and justly," said Cuomo, who also called for the school's board of trustees to install a monitor. "That must be both the reality and the perception. Syracuse University and its leadership have failed to do that. It is your obligation to remedy the situation immediately."

The monitor, Cuomo said, must "effectively investigate these incidents, clearly communicate the facts with the board and to the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force and recommend a decisive strategy to address both the specific incidents and behavior."

Syracuse University Offers $50,000 Reward for Information About Racist Incidents on Campus

Earlier this week, after it became clear that one of the hate incidents originated from a fraternity on campus, Syverud suspended Alpha Chi Rho and-in one fell swoop-directed the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs to suspend all social activities of fraternities for the remainder of the semester.

"While only one fraternity may have been involved in this particular incident, given recent history, all fraternities must come together with the university community to reflect upon how to prevent recurrence of such seriously troubling behavior," Syverud said.

An ongoing campus sit-in has been staged by black students leading a movement called #NotAgainSU, which also organized a boycott of Syracuse basketball games. The sit-in began last Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., and dozens of students have joined the effort inside the school's Barnes Center at The Arch-a brand-new $50 million recreational complex. Participants have been holding signs that read "Black Safety Matters" and sharing their frustration on social media.

Early Tuesday morning, demonstrators asked the administration to cancel all classes and campus events until further notice.

"These active threats targeting students should be taken seriously and handled with a sense of urgency," said a statement from the group on Tuesday. "We believe that students should stay in spaces where they feel the most comfortable, as safety is paramount."

The demonstrators have vowed not to end the protest until all of their demands-including the expulsion of students involved in what they've called the "November Hate Crimes"-are met.

"The safety of students on this campus-specifically the safety of underrepresented and underserved students-is paramount," the group said Monday in a press release.

"I've never felt less safe on campus than I do right now," said Claire Bauerle, an 18-year-old Syracuse freshman. Bauerle told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that she, a white student, wants students of color to know they are supported.

"People aren't involved just to be involved," the Chicago native said.

"It's awful," Bauerle added, emphasizing that students are afraid that it will escalate into a shooting. "It doesn't feel real. It's like walking through an awful nightmare."

"Whether or not tonight's threat is credible, it's tremendously irresponsible if #Syracuse doesn't cancel classes," broadcast journalism major Sam Gelfand-a native of Parkland, Fla.- tweeted just after 3 a.m. on Tuesday.

"People on this campus, myself included, are shaken, frightened, and fatigued. This is no environment for academics right now. Just let people go home," he added.

Gelfand, a sophomore, told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that he was "down the street from the Stoneman Douglas shooting while it occurred"-when 17 people died in one of the nation's most harrowing school shootings in February 2018-and that while on campus at Syracuse today he found himself "drawing parallels."

"I was terrified last night," Gelfand, who is Jewish, said. "These hateful incidents have consumed our lives; it's all we can talk about."

The "lackluster response" from the administration and the DPS is, Gelfand added, "inexcusable."

Professors, meanwhile, were not immune to the campus tension. Several tweeted that they had either canceled classes or would not penalize students who chose not to attend Tuesday.

"I will support and advocate for any students who choose not to go to class today," Prof. Genevieve García de Müeller tweeted. "I support the students protesting and I urge the chancellor to uptake their demands in a serious and systemic way."

She added: "Most of my students have said they are not going to campus today. As a Mexican and Jewish woman I don't feel safe going to campus. This is a direct attack. First and foremost I care about the safety of my students."

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here

Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!

Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


More Related News

COVID-19: One of the Deadliest Wars in American History
COVID-19: One of the Deadliest Wars in American History

"We hold these truths to be self-evident," Thomas Jefferson wrote 244 years ago, when a brand-new nation found itself already a year into war with the most powerful empire on the planet. Two and a half centuries later, the innately flawed country that was born out of the declaration Jefferson penned is fighting one of deadliest battles in its history. Except this time around, it remains deeply split about the very nature of a horrifically fatal enemy.While leaders in some nations around the world have in many cases used a combination of aggressive lockdowns and mass testing to get a handle on COVID-19, the United States is another story. Some 25 percent-a full quarter-of documented global...

Mary Trump: You Can
Mary Trump: You Can't Gag Me Because Settlement Was a 'Fraud'

The legal fight over a tell-all by President Trump's niece took another turn on Thursday when her lawyers filed papers to remove a temporary restraining order, arguing that the confidentiality agreement she signed 19 years ago was an unenforceable fraud.In an affidavit, Mary Trump said that when she inked the agreement, ending a dispute over her grandfather's will, she believed the asset amounts in it were accurate, but learned they were bogus from a New York Times expose.In addition, she said that she did not believe the agreement would have barred her from telling her "life story"-which just happens to include details of "the conduct and character of my uncle, the sitting President of...

Barstool Sports Employees of Color Go to Extremes to Get Founder Dave Portnoy
Barstool Sports Employees of Color Go to Extremes to Get Founder Dave Portnoy's Half-Assed Apology for Racism

In a podcast episode published Wednesday, seven Barstool Sports employees of color spent 80 minutes talking around the fact that their boss Dave Portnoy, whose racist videos had gained attention this past weekend, had not apologized publicly or in private to them. Objectively, the discussion was pathetic. Former NFL player Willie Colon and Brandon Newman had five of their co-workers on The 2Biggs Podcast for a discussion about Portnoy's comments; the episode was titled with the acronym for "Now It's Gonna Get Extremely Real." (Not every participant signed off on that title.) Most of the conversation featured the group trying their hardest to not call their boss racist, but there were two...

'Horrific': Dozens of Neighbors Sign Letter Calling Out St. Louis Gun Couple

Dozens of residents of a St. Louis neighborhood have signed a letter condemning the actions of the couple who brandished guns at Black Lives Matter marchers on Sunday.Mark and Patricia McCloskey, a pair of personal injury attorneys, made headlines this week after they were filmed waving weapons at Black Lives Matter activists who walked in their gated neighborhood en route to a protest at the mayor's home nearby. Residents of an adjoining gated neighborhood say the couple doesn't represent the area.The nearly three-dozen signers live on Westmoreland Place. That street and the adjoining Portland Place, where the McCloskeys live, make up a historic gated district in St. Louis's Central West...

Cartels Target Top Cop as Killings Soar in Mexico
Cartels Target Top Cop as Killings Soar in Mexico

CALI, Colombia-There was a time, not so long ago, when Mexico City remained a safe haven from the deadly cartel violence plaguing the rest of the country. A place where El Narco dared not tread.That time is no more.Shortly after sunrise on Friday, June 26, Mexico City Police Chief Omar García Harfuch was ambushed near his home in an upscale residential community. The unprecedented attack was carried out by a paramilitary force of more than two dozen men armed with automatic weapons, grenade launchers, and .50 caliber sniper rifles.Twenty-eight sicarios (hitmen) divided into four separate estacas (kill squads) had set up roadblocks on the Paseo de la Reforma, the most famous boulevard in...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Latin America