Several students who were suspended over controversial videos recorded by a fraternity at Syracuse University are now firing back, in the form of a lawsuit.
Five current or prospective members of Theta Tau are suing the university and some administrators.
They claim there was a rush to judgment when the videos were released. Those videos contained content described by the University as sexist, racist, homophobic and offensive to people with disabilities.
The lawsuit claims the videos were private, and taken out of context. The students claim they were part of a roast meant to make fun of, rather than condone those views.
They say the university violated their rights as outlined in the student handbook and the university’s bill of rights.
They also say administrators made libelous statements about them.
The students are seeking more than $1 million each in damages. They also want their academic standing restored while the lawsuit is pending.
A spokesperson for SU says the university cannot comment on the specifics of the lawsuit.
In a statement, Syracuse University said, “The University stands by the actions it took to protect the well-being of the campus community and maintain a respectful and safe learning environment.”