Department of Public Safety Investigating Use of Racist, Threatening Language on Discord

Syracuse University’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) is actively investigating reports of racist, threatening language directed toward the Asian community on the social media site, Discord, which markets itself as a virtual meeting and gathering space.

These posts reportedly began in November 2021 and have occurred as recently as this week. Since receiving the report this week, DPS has taken steps to identify the individual or individuals responsible. Actions by DPS include:

  • Contacted the reporting party to gather additional information and offer support
  • Conducted multiple interviews
  • Reviewed activity on the Discord page where the racist and threatening language was posted
  • Engaged the assistance of the Syracuse Police Department
  • Submitted a formal complaint to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center
  • Alerted the New York State Police Bias Task Force
  • Filed a subpoena request with the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office

“While DPS is working with other law enforcement agencies to hopefully identify the person(s) responsible for these hateful actions, Student Experience staff are also working to provide support to the impacted student,” says Allen Groves, senior vice president and chief student experience officer. “Should we learn that anyone responsible for these racist acts is affiliated with the University, we will take prompt action to hold them accountable. This online behavior is no less disturbing than if it occurred in-person, but can be more challenging to solve when the perpetrator attempts to hide behind the anonymity of the internet. I appreciate the hard work of DPS, SPD and other partner law enforcement agencies as they continue to investigate this matter.”

There are no suspects at this time. Anyone with information about this incident should contact DPS at 315.443.2224. Anonymous tips can be reported to DPS through the Silent Witness tool or the Rave Guardian mobile app.

The University recognizes how these incidents can affect individuals and communities, particularly the most marginalized. If you or someone you know has been affected by a bias incident, there are resources available: