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Problems At SU- Time to Address These
I am a (former) proud SU alum (Newhouse). Let me also say I am a professor at a large university in the Northeast. I know the behind the scenes of university life well. My daughter had Syracuse on her list a couple of years back. She chose not to attend SU, and I cannot say I am disappointed. When we visited, I had not been back in a while. I looked around the campus and M street and it all looked the same - in a stale way. They added new structures, but it looked run down and the atmosphere was the same. The frats and sororities on Walnut Park carried the same vibe. I was in a fraternity while at SU, and looking back, I am embarrassed at my behavior from that time. I spoke with many students and faculty while there. My instincts told me it was still the mid-1990's vibe here. Syracuse for all its national presence and strong alumni network was just not what it seemed to be. Recent events are proving my instincts correct. I am sure there are pockets of excellence, but overall, SU has become an overpriced institution that needs to look internally and change its toxic culture. When SU said they added almost 100 safety officers to patrol dorm areas 24/7 after assessing campus needs, I was disappointed in their trying to spin it. The bottom line is that the dorms were not safe and the campus was not safe. A university does not add almost 100 officers in new positions unless something is terribly wrong. Stop spinning it. Admit it and fix the problem. Parents’ number 1 priority is the safety of their children. SU was always sketchy just off campus especially around Brewster/Boland but adding almost 100 officers tells me something more was amiss. The recent incidents with the fraternities and the racist episodes in general also tells me the culture at SU is also not what is portrayed in the brochures. This was happening while I was there. Hazing was rampant and nobody seemed to want to clamp down on the Greek culture. The stereotype was of well-heeled white kids who could pay tuition acting out of control. I cannot say I agreed with that stereotype then or now, but it certainly seems like SU refuses to bring Greek life under control. The incidents of racism and hazing students you hear are just the surface. Universities are good telling you the stories they want you to hear but even better at capping stories they do not want you to hear. Public safety officers can tell you stories you would not believe. Many universities struggle with racist incidents right now. Also, it is not just Greek culture. It would be unfair to characterize all Greek culture as racist or boorish. At SU though, it does seem to be embedded deeper in the culture. Should you send your son or daughter to SU? That is your call. I am sure someone could easily rebut what I have written, and most students have an excellent experience at SU I am sure. However, ask yourself why 100 officers were added for safety, why the fraternities and sororities continue to haze and act boorishly in this day and age, why sexual assault is not addressed in a proper way (did not really get into this in this post) and why the racist incidents on campus went unchecked by a nonresponsive administration for so long. I love you SU. Please SU, fix it. Fix it now.5 replies