Yale Fraternity Suspended for Sexual Harassment
“Hazing” is a word commonly associated with college fraternities. Fraternities have traditionally used embarrassing methods to harass and humiliate freshmen fraternity pledges in order to initiate new membership. In recent years awareness has been raised on this practice and sanctioned have been implemented by colleges to dismantle harassing techniques. Despite university efforts the practices continue. The Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Yale University has recently come under fire for inappropriate behavior related to hazing pledges. However, instead of harassing their own members this fraternity is being punished for the harassment of other students on campus.
The incidents in question took place in October 2010 on Yale campus. DKE members are reported to have yelled obscene chants at female students; such as “no means yes, yes means anal”. Members were also seen holding signs on campus reading “we love Yale sluts” and rating freshmen woman on attractiveness.
Yale University took the claims seriously and responded with severe sanctions. The Yale chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon has been suspended from participating in Yale events, holding events on campus, recruiting new members, and other activities for 5 years. Yale University also contacted the national chapter office and requested that the Yale chapter be officially suspended for five years. The national office ordered the Yale chapter to halt all operations including inducting new members, but lifted the ban in less than one month.
Because fraternity members instructed pledges to participate in the lewd behaviors individual members are being sanctioned separately for breaking university harassment policies. The Yale Executive Committee announced their response to the DKE incident through a campus wide email addressed to students and faculty. Dean Mary Miller expressed DKE’s actions to have violated Undergraduate Regulations by intimidating and harassing university students.
The Delta Kappa Epsilon event motivated university members to address the ongoing sexual atmosphere on Yale campus; specifically regarding Yale’s response to sexually hostile environments. Past and current events were brought forth by students and alumni. Complaints were filed with the Office of Civil Rights accusing Yale University of disregarding federal regulations barring gender discrimination on campus. The complaints accuse Yale of allowing sexually hostile environments to exist without recourse. The Office of Civil Rights announced an open investigation of Yale University in March.