Syracuse University has joined the NFL and then some. The NFL in this case is the No Fun League. They have also opposed free speech. Gregory Germain, a member of the Orange law faculty has the scoop:
A diverse group of 15 students (white, African American, Hispanic, Jewish, Muslim, Christian) who were pledging an engineering fraternity were asked to do a roast of the fraternity members for their joint amusement. The skits were crude: masturbation jokes; a politically conservative member was made to be an alt-right bigot who formed a competing fraternity to spread racism; a skit about sexually assaulting a fraternity member who was so controlled by his girlfriend that he could not move (patterned after a viral Brandon Rogers YouTube video). They were making fun of themselves and each other in outlandish ways using very crude language.
It is important that Gregory lets us know Syracuse has a free speech policy, because the Orange is a private university:
Syracuse University has a broad free speech policy that promises protection for offensive speech.
Despite that free speech policy the administration reacted as crudely we have grown to expect:
The university quickly expelled the fraternity, and the chancellor issued videotaped messages to the community promising swift student prosecutions, seeking suspensions or expulsions.
Expelling a student for cheating or violently disrupting a presentation is almost impossible but acting privately in bad taste is a hanging offense.
Sidebar: You do understand that we don’t literally mean hanging, right? We mean that it is an offense that brings an extreme sanction like expelling the fraternity from the university. End Sidebar.
The only good news here is that a member of the faculty has spoken up for the students who have had their lives ruined by overzealous administrators. Here’s hoping that the students and the fraternity take the the university and the administrators individually for all that they are worth. Good luck Gregory and the fraternity as they seek retribution!