Yale Fraternity is Suspended for Sexist Chants

In October 2010, the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Yale University marched their pledges through campus, chanting explicit phrases such as “No Means Yes” and phrases about various sexual acts, including necrophilia. Many of these chants were very discriminatory and demoralizing towards women. The fraternity was chastised for the event and chapter leaders apologized. Then, the fraternity’s national office demanded that the chapter not continue with any pledge activities for the rest of the year.

The members of Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) probably thought this was the end of their punishment, but in May 2011, USA Today reported that Yale University had decided to ban the fraternity from recruiting new members or holding any activities on the school’s campus for five years. This will be quite a change for the school’s Greek life because DKE has been an active fraternity at Yale since it was founded there in 1855.

Yale officials claim that disciplining DKE by forbidding them from recruiting and holding activities on campus in order to protect “an educational environment free from harassment and intimidation.”

The executive director of the international DKE office, Doug Lanpher, was very disappointed that this chapter has been punished so harshly. He said that he felt that the issue had been handled internally.

“We know [the incident] was in poor taste.” Lanpher said. “We don’t advocate what they said. We believe that the chapter’s behavior has changed.”

However, this is not the first time that this chapter has acted disrespectfully towards women. In 2008, DKE pledges took pictures of themselves in front of the women’s center, holding a sign that said “We Love Yale Sluts,” and then posted the pictures on Facebook. Following an executive committee, Yale officials reported that they had discovered that DKE had also been involved in the threatening and intimidation of others, which is also against Yale’s regulations.

It appears like this fraternity has been acting out for years, and in my opinion, I think they should be kicked off campus for a few years so that they can get their act together. Many Yale students seem to have a similar view as I do, including Alexandra Brodsky, a student who filed a complaint against the fraternity.

“I am glad to see that Yale recognized the gravity of the situation and responded with appropriate disciplinary action,” said Brodsky. “Such disciplinary action and public discussion mark a departure from Yale’s previous approach to sexual misconduct, and I am heartened to see the university headed in this new direction.”

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