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Syracuse University Students Demand Changes After Report Of Racist Incident

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Syracuse University is investigating yet another bias incident on campus after shutting down all fraternity activities due to a racist attack over the weekend.

Dozens of students gathered in a university building for the sixth day of a student sit-in, protesting the school's response to racial tensions on campus.

CBS2's Ali Bauman spoke with one of the protesters, who wished to remain anonymous, over the phone.

"At the beginning, a lot of students were extremely scared about the incidents that were happening and wanted to find a way to basically address these issues," the student said.

This month, there have been seven reports of racist and anti-Semitic incidents on campus.

The most recent incident happened Monday evening, when derogatory graffiti was found in a residence hall.

Over the weekend, an African-American student said she was verbally harassed by a group of fraternity members who yelled racial slurs at her.

"It is the collective responsibility of our fraternities and our whole university to reflect on how to prevent this very troubling behavior in the future," Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud said.

Sunday, Syverud suspended the fraternity involved and suspended social events for all fraternities through the end of the semester. An anonymous donor offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone responsible for the half a dozen recent acts of racist vandalism.

"It's a Band-Aid to the issue. I think it might prevent certain things … but it doesn't really address the underlying issues," senior Shawn Depaz said.

The protesters have raised more than $14,000 online and say they plan to continue sitting in until the school administration meets their demands, which include allocating $1 million to create a new curriculum on diversity issues.

"To make sure the university actually puts the money into the resources that will help," a protester said.

The student protesters are also demanding the school expel any students involved in the racist incidents. They have invited the school's chancellor to read his response to their demands Wednesday evening.

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