Prestigious Yale Fraternity Accused of Chants Offensive to Women
Delta Kappa Epsilon members have include both Bush presidents.
Oct. 19, 2010— -- A popular Yale fraternity that lists George W. Bush and Dan Quayle as alumni has come under scrutiny after fraternity pledges marched on campus last week shouting obscenities offensive to women.
The fraternity, Delta Kappa Epsilon, has now been asked by its executive director to suspend all pledge activities on the New Haven, Conn., campus.
"DKE has instructed the Yale Chapter to discontinue all new member activities until further notice," read a statement posted on the Delta Kappa Epsilon International web site.
DKE "strongly condemns the actions taken by some members of our Yale Chapter last week. The sentiments expressed during the new member activity are deeply offensive, and do not adhere to the standards of morals and behavior that we expect of all DKE members."
In a YouTube video that surfaced this week, Delta Kappa Epsilon pledges were seen in the inflammatory pledge ritual shouting chants such as "My name is Jack, I'm a necrophiliac, I (expletive) dead women," and "no means yes; yes means anal." The march took place at night inside a courtyard near a freshman women's dorm.
"It doesn't look like it's from Yale campus, so I was really shocked," Shuang Shao, a Yale graduate student, told ABC affiliate WTNH.
The uproar prompted university officials to hold a hastily planned open forum last week with 150 students, including many from the Yale Women's Center. Dean Mary Miller attended the forum and equated the chants to sexual harassment, according to the Yale Daily News. DKE fraternity members also used the occasion to apologize for the incident.
"They knew immediately that it was a bad decision and they regret it," Doug Lanpher, executive director of the Delta Kappa Epsilon, told theYale Daily News.
But the apology is not quelling criticism from some on the Yale campus. Broad Recognition, a feminist magazine on campus, is soliciting donations from Yale alumni and current students to help fund a full page advertisement in the Yale Daily News' Parents' Weekend edition.
The ad will call for stronger administrative action against the leadership of DKE and for school President Richard Levin to publicly denounce the incident.
"This threatening behavior contributes to an unsafe environment for both men and women, an environment in which sex is treated as conquest," a proposed version of the ad reads in part. "It is time for Yale to take action to address the culture around sexual speech and acts on campus."