Syracuse University Investigates after White Supremacist Manifesto Allegedly AirDropped to Students In Latest Incident of Campus Hate Crime

Syracuse University said it was investigating “multiple reports” of a purported white supremacist manifesto that was AirDropped to students on campus.

The university’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) said in a statement on Tuesday that the document was posted on an online forum and then it was allegedly sent to several students via AirDrop, an Apple messaging app. The students who received the message were in the Bird Library on campus in Syracuse, New York.

The alert comes as students on campus are protesting for the seventh day for what they consider an inadequate response from university officials to the numerous hate crimes that have taken place on campus just this month alone.

Since the beginning of November, there has been a slew of hate crimes reported on campus.

Hate Crimes at the University this Month

  • The university’s school newspaper, The Daily Orange, has reported that there have been 11 hate crimes and/or bias-related incidents that have occurred at or near Syracuse University this month.

  • Between November 7 and November 8, there were racial slurs written against Black and Asian people on the fourth and sixth floor of Day Hall on campus, according to The Daily Orange. The N-word was reportedly written on a ceiling light bathroom, the mirror, the floor and the garbage cans on the sixth floor of the building. On the fourth floor, a slur against Asian people was written on a bulletin board.

  • On November 11, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released a statement directing state police, the Hate Crimes Task Force and the State Division of Human Rights to investigate the incidents. “I'm disgusted by the recent rash of hateful language found scrawled on the walls at Syracuse University, where students from around the world are drawn each year in the pursuit of higher learning. These types of hateful and bigoted actions seek to splinter and segregate our communities, and they have no place in New York - period,” Cuomo said.

  • Three days later, DPS reported that there was graffiti against the Asian community found in a bathroom stall in the physics building on campus. That same day, another racial slur against Asian people was discovered on the third floor of Day Hall, according to DPS.

  • A few days later, DPS reported that there was more graffiti of a racial slur against Asian people on November 16 at Haven Hall. Two more bias incidents werereported that same day. The first was a swastika found at Haven Hall, and the second was an incident that occurred at Sadler Hall, where a student was loudly yelling a racial slur toward Black people.

  • A fourth incident was reportedon November 16 after a Black, female student reported that a large group of people began shouting the N-word at her as she walked by them.

  • DPS reported on November 18 that racist graffiti against Black people was found on the 5th floor of Day Hall.

What Now

Syracuse students have been protesting at the Barnes Center in the university since last week, demanding changes to the university and how they handle bias incidents. Some of the demands include requiring staff and faculty members to undergo diversity training and creating a housing portal so students can select roommates based on their similar interests, CNN reported.

On November 17, Syracuse University suspended all social activities and fraternities for the rest of the fall semester following the protests after officials found that some of the people involved in the November 16 incident of yelling a racial slur at a Black student were members of a fraternity.

“It is the collective responsibility of our fraternities and our whole university to reflect on how to prevent this very troubling behavior in the future,” university Chancellor Kent Syverud said.

School officials also said a donor was offering a $50,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest or actionable referral to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Despite this, students are still unhappy with the way officials are handling the incidents and have demanded the resignation of Syverud.

“While students have spoken, protested and marched for five years, the recurrence of these incidents prove that administration is not equipped to deliver on the promise of a safe and inclusive campus,” the petition read. “We deserve a Chancellor who values the experience of students and faculty over breaking fundraising goals or completing massive infrastructure projects.”

What They’re Saying

The FBI’s latest hate crime report found that 9.2 percent of hate crimes reported in 2018 occurred at schools or on college campuses. In the report, it found that 8.5 percent of racial bias incidents took place at schools and/or college campuses, while 11.6 percent of religious bias incidents took place at schools and/or college campuses.

There are organizations that are urging Syracuse University officials to be vocal and speak out against the hateful rhetoric and incidents that have occurred on campus this past month.

“We feel that for the campus like Syracuse or any campus to become unified, addressing issues of bias and hate need to become part of a strategic plan developed by the university. Today schools must proactively engage in multifaceted tactics,” Evan R. Bernstein, the New York / New Jersey Regional Director said in a statement to The North Star. “This work needs unparalleled collaboration from every member of the staff, faculty and administration as understanding and sensitivity to the needs of all students. The campus community needs to work together.”

“We urge campus leaders to speak out vociferously, immediately and directly when hateful rhetoric comes to their campus,” the statement continued.

Richard Anthony Baker, the President of the Board of Directors for the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED) and the executive director for institutional equity at Rice University, told TNS that school officials should listen to their students. He noted that protests and complaints are likely caused by other incidents that have led students to fear for their safety on campus.

“An institution has to respond. If the behavior that has led to the protests, if it is antithetical to the beliefs of the university, then they need to say so,” Baker said.

About the Author

Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.