Yale punishes fraternity for sexist chanting

GREENFIELD, Massachusetts Tue May 17, 2011 8:39pm EDT

Students walk on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, October 7, 2009. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Students walk on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, October 7, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

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GREENFIELD, Massachusetts (Reuters) - Yale University has penalized a fraternity that counts former President George W. Bush among its members after complaints of sexual hostility toward women, including chanting about rape.

The Ivy League school, currently the subject of a federal investigation into sexual harassment, on Tuesday found Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity had "threatened and intimidated" others, said Mary Miller, Dean of Yale College.

The fraternity drew complaints after new members marched across the New Haven, Connecticut, campus in October chanting phrases about sex acts as part of their initiation.

Videos of the event -- including the chant "No Means Yes! Yes Means Anal!" were posted online and quickly prompted outrage on campus and beyond.

The "Dekes" were prohibited for five years from on-campus recruiting or other frat activities, communicating with Yale students and using Yale's name in connection with the fraternity. Yale also asked the DKE national organization to suspend the chapter for five years.

Miller said she took the unusual step of making public an internal summary of disciplinary actions taken by the school's executive committee in an effort to deliver a clear message that sexual harassment is not tolerated at Yale.

"It is my hope that this will not only shed some light on a matter of public concern but also provide notice of the outcomes to all those who may have been affected by sexual harassment and, accordingly, educate our community," Miller said.

This spring, the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights began investigating a complaint by 16 current and former students saying Yale breached the U.S. gender-equality law known as Title IX, by failing to stamp out sexual harassment on campus. The complaint cited the October incident.

"Greek life," as fraternity membership is known, has long been a Yale tradition. Delta Kappa Epsilon was founded at the university in 1855.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg, Ros Krasny and Tim Gaynor)

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Comments (4)
nvonr wrote:
Why is it that so many of these Ivy League, pasty little wimps so hostile to women? These boys chanting would be the first to run away from a fight. They make me laugh.

May 17, 2011 9:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JamVee wrote:
This seems to indicate that the intelligence level of some Yale Students, as exhibited by the “Deke’s” choice of initiation chants, is considerably less than we had assumed . . . Idiots!

May 17, 2011 10:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ysgrifennu wrote:
Since a number of past presidents (Teddy Roosevelt, FDR and Rutherford Hayes as well as other famous people are members of DKE, I am curious as to the reasoning for referencing only the two Bush presidents in the story. Was there any implied connection being made between the Bush presidents and frat idiots sexually harrassing coeds at Yale or was it unintentional?
Just curious.

May 18, 2011 4:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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