- Yale’s Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity was barred for five years after a profane video of brothers chanting about women, rape, and consent emerged online.
- The suspension ended in 2016, but today some women at Yale say they feel unsafe at DKE.
- The fraternity was created in 1844 and its notable legacies include both President Bushes.
A Yale fraternity that was barred from campus as recently as 2016 for past vulgar chants about women, rape, and consent faces allegations of sexual misconduct.
Two women on Yale’s campus told Business Insider they were the victims of sexual assaults by brothers in Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE, pronounced “Deke”) during the 2016-17 school year. The university is aware of one of these instances. It issued a three-term suspension of the 2016-17 DKE President after it made the determination that he had engaged in “penetration without consent.” Yale’s sexual-misconduct committee uses a lower standard of proof than the standard applied to criminal proceedings.
More than a dozen other women told Business Insider they have witnessed or experienced separate instances of nonconsensual sexual contact by DKE brothers since 2014, including unwanted kissing, groping, and sexual assault.
The accusations follow similar claims of sexual hostility at DKE. In 2010, during the fraternity’s “Hell Week,” brothers marched pledges around campus blindfolded and shirtless, holding onto the shoulders of the men in front of them. When they got to the Yale Women’s Center, the brothers instructed the chants to begin.“No means yes, yes means anal,” the pledges repeated over and over. “Fucking sluts!” they yelled, and “My name is Jack; I’m a necrophiliac. I fuck dead women and fill them with my semen.”
Following a public outcry and an investigation into a “hostile sexual environment on campus” by the Department of Education, the university issued a five-year suspension. The sanctions prohibited DKE from officially associating with Yale from May 2011 to May 2016.
In the year following its suspension, DKE maintained that its days of sexual misconduct were over. Before his own suspension, the former president told the Yale Daily News that the five-year fraternity suspension had had a profound effect.
“I believe the sanctions had a positive impact on the culture of our fraternity,” he said in October 2016. “Our current members understand the history of the ban and have played an important part in the cultural shift that has taken place since then.”
But some students on campus say the fraternity’s culture hasn’t changed.
“There’s always been this sort of vibe about DKE that upperclassmen women warned me of,” Sydney Daniels, a female junior at Yale, told Business Insider.
Women at Yale, and a female neighbour who lived on the same block as the fraternity, told Business Insider that brothers in DKE engaged in behaviour that has made them feel unsafe in and around one of the frat houses. They said brothers often sit on the veranda attached to the house where they throw parties, ogling women and making sexual gestures. And when they arrive at DKE’s front door it feels as if they’re on display at a meat market. Once inside the house where they throw parties, some women who’ve spoken to Business Insider claim they have been groped or sexually assaulted by brothers.
Following a request for comment by Business Insider about the recent allegations regarding Yale University’s DKE chapter, the international fraternity chapter said it was opening an investigation and suspending the fraternity’s social events.
“DKE does not tolerate sexual misconduct and has not been made aware of any allegations of sexual misconduct against our Yale Chapter,” Doug Lanpher, executive director of Delta Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity, said in an email last week to Business Insider. “At the request of our chapter, DKE International headquarters has opened an investigation into the matter. The chapter also announced that it will immediately discontinue any social events with alcohol until the investigation is completed.”
When reached for comment, Nick Hardy, the current president of Yale’s DKE chapter, directed Business Insider to a Yale Daily News op-ed he wrote with DKE vice president Andrew Johnson. In the op-ed, Hardy and Johnson said they were “appalled and disgusted by the allegations of sexual assault involving two Delta Kappa Epsilon members,” and pledged to reform the organisation.
“We want to do everything possible to improve the climate of our organisation, ensuring safety, security, warmth and welcome for every student who walks through our doors,” they wrote in the article. “But we will need the help of everyone at Yale engaged in the fight against sexual misconduct to do so, because if we are to truly hold our organisation to the highest possible standard, we require all of campus to hold us accountable.”
The Yale chapter of DKE is one of more than a dozen fraternities and sororities on campus. It was founded in 1844, and its notable legacies include both President Bushes.
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