Miller meets with DKE director

Yale College Dean Mary Miller met with National Executive Director of DKE Douglas Lanpher on Sunday and asked him to put the Yale chapter of the fraternity on probation indefinitely. That night, Miller e-mailed the Yale community with a no-nonsense account of the steps the University will take in the aftermath of Delta Kappa Epsilon’s inflammatory Oct. 13 pledge ritual, which Miller called a “blindfolded rant of sexual aggression.”

Yale College Dean Mary Miller
Yale College Dean Mary Miller

Miller said her request for probation was on behalf of the Yale community, though she noted that DKE is not a registered Yale undergraduate organization. In an e-mail to the News, she described Lanpher as “responsive” and “positive in his attitude toward community values,” but did not specify how the national organization will deal with its Yale chapter.

Lanpher and President of DKE at Yale Jordan Forney ’11 did not respond to several requests for comment Sunday.

Miller said Yale will look closely at the different initiation traditions that exist in undergraduate organizations. She has summoned a committee of students, faculty, coaches and staff who will investigate these practices across campus, in a cappella groups, sports teams and other organizations, both registered and unregistered. Miller said she will also appoint a “short-term task force” to look into recommendations regarding sexual misconduct that she has received since the DKE episode, and to discuss how to approach students who perpetuate negative sexual culture.

Judith Krauss, Silliman College master and chair of the Faculty Committee on Athletics, will chair the committee tasked with examining initiation rituals in student organizations, which will begin its investigation next semester.

Krauss said in an interview that since Miller contacted her Sunday afternoon about taking the helm of the newly formed committee, she thought it was “premature” to talk about who will join the committee and what outcome its investigation will have.

“I still don’t know details,” Krauss said. “We’re about to launch a look into all of these groups, and investigate issues in the culture of initiation and hazing.” She added that administrators will discuss the details of the committee in the coming weeks.

The DKE incident was not the first pledge ritual to go awry in recent years. In 2008, pledges from the Zeta Psi fraternity posed for a photo in front of the Women’s Center holding a sign that read “We Love Yale Sluts.”

The administration does not have a set protocol for dealing with campus controversies, University President Richard Levin said.

“There’s no right line,” he said. “It’s a judgment call.”

The e-mail also announced a panel to be held Tuesday in Sudler Hall titled “Deconstructing the ‘DKE Incident’: How, Why, and What Next?,” hosted by the Dean’s Office, the Yale College Council and the Intercultural Affairs Council. The Women’s Center will host “Intimate Partner Violence Awareness Week” starting today.

Comments

  • concerned

    The administration does not have a set protocol for dealing with campus controversies, University President Richard Levin said.

    “There’s no right line,” he said. “It’s a judgment call.”

    And the University has sponsored decades of bad judgment in these cases which has resulted in the extensive undermining of students’ well-being.

  • RexMottram08

    NOOOO!! Not a committee!! Is it blue-ribbon?

    Academic politics are the most vicious because the stakes are so small.

  • FreddyHoneychurch

    There’s something unsettling about Miller staring at me from that photo placed mere inches from her quote “blindfolded rant of sexual aggression.” Something very unsettling.

  • Hieronymus’ Bosh

    I generally respect Dean Miller — think of the carp she has to put up with, to pretend to take seriously (when she’d probably rather just roll her eyes and slap ne’er-do-wells with a ruler upside the head a few times…). “Blindfolded rant of sexual aggression” strikes a fair enough tone given the audience and lobbyists. Were this Rome, the call for blood would require more satisfaction.

    Fashion note: lose the Snuggie®.

  • YaleMom

    I agree Freddy! Mrs. Miller looks like my marriage counselor looks when I bring cupcakes and champagne to our sessions!!

  • TheNavySeal

    Free speech on campus? How about the notion had they not been on campus, the DKE gentlemen would have been arrested. One assumes they are intellectually capable and should know that this is unacceptable anywhere at any time. The University is now responsible to stop this behavior.

  • Leah

    How are they going to police unregistered organizations/what control do they have over them?

  • Yale_2010

    @TheNavySeal –

    You are an idiot and lack an understanding of the law. Please explain to me on what grounds they would have been arrested had they not been on campus…

  • FreddyHoneychurch

    They would have been arrested off campus because we live in New Haven and the police arrest you for any damn thing and then tase you with impunity. It’s called Creating a Public Disturbance. Use curse words (misogynistic or otherwise) and you’re looking at Interfering with an Officer. If you want to hire a lawyer for many thousands of dollars (*do not* rely on the public defender), and you get lucky with the jury, then maybe you’ll see The Constitution at work. But the jury’s likely to side with the cops, because the word of the cops is under no circumstances to be doubted. The Supreme Court is usually uninterested in drunken frat boys. Anyway, *this* Supreme Court would tase them directly from the bench.

  • JE2011

    TheNavySeal: The KKK and Westboro Baptist Church can say whatever hate speech they want in public. Why would a DKE pledge saying “No means yes, yes means anal” warrant an arrest while the former two examples would not?

  • Yale14

    > TheNavySeal: The KKK and Westboro Baptist Church can say whatever hate speech they want in public. Why would a DKE pledge saying “No means yes, yes means anal” warrant an arrest while the former two examples would not?

    Because if they went around chanting in the street by people’s houses in the middle of the night they would be disturbing the peace.

    http://www.newhavenmo.org/documents/Title2NHMunicipalCode.pdf

    Please look at section 210.210 and be informed.

  • TheNavySeal

    Thank you Yale14. Yale_2010 you should read up and skip the silliness.

  • Veritas

    @Yale14: Wrong New Haven. That’s the ordinances of New Haven, Missouri.

    Also, Yale’s free speech protections are stronger than those of the Constitution, and these protections are one of the most basic policies of this University.

    http://yalecollege.yale.edu/content/free-expression-peaceful-dissent-and-demonstrations

    > [...] We take a chance, as the First Amendment takes a chance, when we commit ourselves to the idea that the results of free expression are to the general benefit in the long run, however unpleasant they may appear at the time. The validity of such a belief cannot be demonstrated conclusively. It is a belief of recent historical development, even within universities, one embodied in American constitutional doctrine but not widely shared outside the academic world, and denied in theory and in practice by much of the world most of the time.
    >
    > [...] In addition to the university’s primary obligation to protect free expression there are also ethical responsibilities assumed by each member of the university community, along with the right to enjoy free expression. [...] Shock, hurt, and anger are not consequences to be weighed lightly. No member of the community with a decent respect for others should use, or encourage others to use, slurs and epithets intended to discredit another’s race, ethnic group, religion, or sex.
    >
    > [...] We have considered the opposing argument that behavior which violates these social and ethical considerations should be made subject to formal sanctions, and the argument that such behavior entitles others to prevent speech they might regard as offensive. Our conviction that the central purpose of the university is to foster the free access of knowledge compels us to reject both of these arguments. They assert a right to prevent free expression. They rest upon the assumption that speech can be suppressed by anyone who deems it false or offensive. They deny what Justice Holmes termed “freedom for the thought that we hate.” They make the majority, or any willful minority, the arbiters of truth for all. If expression may be prevented, censored or punished, because of its content or because of the motives attributed to those who promote it, then it is no longer free. It will be subordinated to other values that we believe to be of lower priority in a university. [...]

  • Yale14

    Excuse me:

    http://search.cga.state.ct.us/dlsurs/sur/htm/chap952.htm#Sec53a-181a.htm

    According to the Connecticut Statutes

    > Sec. 53a-181a. Creating a public disturbance: Infraction. (a) A person is guilty of creating a public disturbance when, with intent to cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he (1) engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior; or (2) annoys or interferes with another person by offensive conduct; or (3) makes unreasonable noise.

  • TheNavySeal

    @Yale_2010
    To engage in any discussion, never begin by insulting someone. One can only assume you are a frustrated recent graduate with nothing better to do than blog or hang around our campus.
    For a moment, close your eyes and think of how you would feel if your daughter had to walk through several inebriated goons chanting, “No means yes, yes means anal”. If that doesn’t set your soul afire, then may I say to you, “God Bless”.