Syracuse University suspended one fraternity and halted social activities at all the school's fraternities for the rest of the semester after a series of racist and anti-Semitic incidents that have prompted days of protests, the school president announced Sunday.
"Last night, one of our African American students reported being subjected to a verbal racial epithet from a group of students and visitors to our campus," Chancellor Kent Syverud said in a statement. "This report of an affront to our student’s – and our whole community’s – safety and well-being is the latest incident of several against Jews, Asians and African Americans."
Syverud's action was the latest in a series of crackdowns on fraternities across the nation and comes less than a week after San Diego State University suspended all Interfraternity Council-affiliated organizations following the death of a freshman who had attended a fraternity event.
At Syracuse, the school's Department of Public Safety said an African American female reported being verbally harassed Saturday by a large group of individuals who reportedly were yelling the “N-word” as she walked by. There was no physical altercation, the department said in a statement.
"Some of the individuals involved are members and guests of a Syracuse University fraternity," Syverud said. Neither Syverud nor public safety officials named the fraternity, but the school's Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs listed Alpha Chi Rho as suspended.
The fraternity's national CEO Scott Carlson, contacted by USA TODAY, called the behavior "loathsome."
"We are disgusted by the language and harassing behavior alleged of a handful of our members and guests of our chapter at Syracuse University," Carlson said in an email. "The Fraternity is working with the university to investigate and if confirmed will hold any members accountable."
The school previously revealed that it was investigating other recent bias incidents. One involved anti-Semitic graffiti depicting a swastika; another was a student loudly yelling a racial epithet derogatory to African Americans. A third incident, targeting Asians, was reported last week.
"Additionally, we are aware of a hateful email being directed to several members of our community," the public safety department said. "That email has been forwarded to the Syracuse Police Department and they have initiated an investigation."
The #NotAgainSU movement has conducted a series of protests in recent days, citing what the group's leaders view as delayed communication of bias incidents by school officials.
Syverud said Sunday he was "deeply angered" by the incidents. The suspects in Saturday's verbal assault have been identified through surveillance video and witness accounts, he added.
Syveryd pledged the suspects would be held accountable to the student Code of Conduct and could face legal charges. Investigations into the other incidents were continuing, he said.
Syverud said the safety and well-being of students prompted school officials to cancel all fraternity events.
"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," he said.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Syracuse fraternity: Racist incidents lead to suspension