Syracuse University’s chancellor said Wednesday reports that a white supremacist manifesto was sent to some students’ phones early Tuesday were “probably a hoax.”
In fact, Chancellor Kent Syverud told the University Senate that investigators haven’t found one person who received the screed, which had been seen as only the latest in a slew of racially tinged episodes on campus.
“To date, law enforcement has not been able to locate a single individual who directly received an AirDrop. Not one,” Syverud said. “It was apparent that this rumor was probably a hoax, but that reality was not communicated clearly and rapidly enough to get ahead of escalating anxiety," according to Syracuse.com.
Authorities said Tuesday that multiple students in the Bard library received a copy of a racist manifesto -- reportedly the 74-page anti-immigrant document penned by the Christchurch, New Zealand, shooter who killed 51 people -- around 1 a.m. through Airdrop. A copy of the document was also posted to online forum Greekrank the night before, the school’s public safety department had said.
"AirDrop" is a feature available to Apple users who have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth features enabled. It allows users to send photos or documents, among other items, to people around them who also have the feature turned on. The close proximity needed for an AirDrop transfer sparked fear among students.
Just days before, a black female student reported being accosted with "a verbal racial epithet from a group of students and visitors to our campus," Syverud said in a statement.
Syverud said that a fraternity was involved in the incident, and that fraternity had been suspended pending an investigation. He said 14 people leaving an Alpha Chi Rho fraternity party were involved in the harassment of the woman. Most of the people were students visiting from other colleges and have been referred for discipline at their respective schools, but four were enrolled at Syracuse. The Syracuse students involved have been placed on suspension and are not on campus or in classes.
Additionally, at least 11 other racist incidents against black, Asian or Jewish people have been reported to school authorities since Nov. 7, a student newspaper reported.
Students reported finding the "N-word" and a slur against Asian people in the residential Day Hall building two weeks ago. Last week, a swastika was apparently found by a student and a racial slur was reportedly yelled at a Chinese freshman on campus.
Between one and five people are believed to be responsible for the graffiti, according to Syverud.
Fox News' Nicole Darrah contributed to this report.