SU announces 3rd Greek life review consultant

Hieu Nguyen | Asst. Photo Editor

SU announced a review of Greek life after the release of the Theta Tau videos in April.

Syracuse University announced it has selected a third consultant to help lead the Greek life review that began after the release of the Theta Tau videos, according to a campus-wide email from Dolan Evanovich, senior vice president for enrollment and the student experience, sent Thursday afternoon.

Veronica Moore will work with consultants Dave Westol and Karyn Nishimura Sneath. Moore is the director of emerging and culturally based fraternal initiatives for the North-American Interfraternity Conference and director of educational programs for the Delta Upsilon International fraternity, of which there is a chapter at SU.

A Greek life survey developed by the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment will be sent to all full-time undergraduate students in late August, per the email. The reviewers met with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs on July 10 and will visit SU on Sept. 16.

The Greek life review that Chancellor Kent Syverud announced shortly after the Theta Tau fraternity’s initial April suspension is in its first of four phases, Evanovich said in a June campus-wide email. The work currently includes research and preparation for the onsite visit.

SU permanently expelled Theta Tau in April for its involvement in the circulation of online videos showing pledges engaging in behaviors that Syverud in an email called, “extremely racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, sexist, and hostile to people with disabilities.” The fraternity, in a statement, said the videos depicted a “satirical sketch.”


The student conduct process for students involved in the Theta Tau videos has concluded, and the University Appeals Board issued written decisions to the students this week, Evanovich said.

The university initially suspended 15 students involved in the videos, and 14 students appealed the sanctions. Evanovich said he could not comment on the outcomes of the appeals due to federal privacy law.


Lawyers and students gather in the College of Law prior to a May conduct hearing for students involved in the Theta Tau videos. Paul Schlesinger | Staff Photographer

Diversity initiatives

The College of Engineering and Computer Science Dean’s Leadership Team participated in diversity training and created a Diversity Council that will include students when they return in the fall, per the email. The college is also structuring a new Office of Inclusive Excellence, with the help of the National Inclusive Excellence Academy, to open in the fall.

By August, the Disability External Review Committee will select a narrowed-down list of consultants and firms to conduct a review of disability services.

Syverud, in a December 2017 University Senate address, said the committee should examine the location of the Office of Disability Services and how much money SU should allocate to disability services.

Evanovich, in a student media press briefing in early March, said recommendations from the review are expected near the end of the fall 2018 semester.

The first-year experience is being changed by newly appointed Provost Faculty Fellow Kira Kristal Reed, Assistant Provost Amanda Nicholson and College of Arts and Sciences Senior Associate Dean Gerry Greenberg. Reed and Nicholson also co-chair the First-Year Experience Initiative Steering Committee and are working to develop a program for faculty to “(foster) a more culturally inclusive classroom,” the email said.

Resource update

The Counseling Center has also brought on two new staff therapists, in addition to the two hired in late June. Fei Shen and Mansi Brat complete the four additional staff therapists that were to be hired as part of Invest Syracuse, a $100 million fundraising initiative.

Jerrel Burgo, a Class of 2018 SU graduate, has been promoted to assistant director in the Office of Multicultural Affairs. He previously worked as coordinator of mentoring programs. In this role, he will work to enhance support for the Native Student Program, Evanovich said.

Julissa Pabon has been hired to take on the role of coordinator of mentoring programs, which will include responsibilities such as planning and programming for the annual Latino/Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. She will begin at SU on Aug. 1.

More than 40 staff and graduate assistants participated in the Be Orange train-the-trainer workshop, which educates students on how to properly be a bystander addressing sexual violence, Evanovich said.

The next email update will come on Aug. 16, Evanovich said.


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