October 19th, 2010 | Uncategorized

Petitions urge University to take action against DKE

At least two online petitions urging University administrators to take action against the DKE fraternity have sprung up since members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity chanted offensive statements on Old Campus Wednesday night.

One asks University President Richard Levin to publicly denounce the behavior of the DKE pledges during an initiation ritual, where they chanted and shouted phrases such as “No means yes, yes means anal” and “My name is Jack, I’m a necrophiliac, I f— dead women.”

According to the blog, yaleresponse.wordpress.com, which hosts the petition, the petition is being spearheaded by a group of unspecified Yale alumni. Their petition references similar previous episodes — such as the Zeta Psi “We Love Yale Sluts” incident in 2008 and last year’s “Preseason Scouting Report,” which ranked 53 freshman women based on appearance — to prove the need for an official Yale response.

“By not offering an unequivocal denunciation from the Office of the President, the university communicates indifference to DKE’s actions,” the petition says.

Change.org, a website dedicated to social change initiatives and advocacy issues, has launched another petition motivated by the DKE incident, started by Dartmouth graduate and change.org editor Alex DiBranco.

The petition, titled “Tell Yale to Discipline Fraternity for Pro-Rape Chant,” asserts that the dialogue between DKE and the Women’s Center “isn’t enough,” and also calls for Levin and Yale College Dean Mary Miller to take disciplinary measures against the fraternity. The petition also supports Yale feminist magazine Broad Recognition’s request for “real administrative action.”

The Yale Response and change.org petitions have garnered 1,094 and 1,375 signatures respectively, as of 8:40 p.m. Tuesday. Elizabeth Deutsch ’11, business coordinator for the Women’s Center, said the Center is not involved in either of these petitions.

  • Summer

    I don’t understand why the necrophilia chant is being included in every news article about the chants. Necrophilia is not a “call to sexual violence”, even by the standards of the Yale Women’s Center.

    Also, I wish to anti-sign the petition, but I can’t figure out how to do that.

  • Veritas

    @Summer:

    Because necrophilia evokes disgust, which psychologically primes the reader for the rest of the article.

    Don’t worry about trying to anti-sign the petition. The Change.org petition was started by an unaffiliated activist and is collecting signatures internationally—currently, it has 1,700 signatures. There are two billion internet users worldwide.

    Most people on campus realize not only that the administration does not punish this sort of thing due to concerns about free speech (unlike many universities, Yale’s protections of free speech are *stronger* than those of the Constitution) and that—in policy, practice, and rhetoric—it has made it clear that it will not punish a group for the satisfaction of the community, but also that punishing such a behavior doesn’t eliminate the culture behind it. While there are some people on campus who are still calling for disciplinary action, most advocates of disciplinary action seem to be unaffiliated with Yale.

  • newelirent

    I’m not unafilliated with Yale . . . my daughter is a member of the class of 2014. The free speech defense is fine but please remember . . . an individual’s right to say something does not protect them from the logical consequences which result from what they have said. For instance, I assume each of these young men have no problem with the university attaching a note to their school record which states that they stood outside a woman’s room and chanted “No means yes and yes means anal!” Oh wait . . . their parents apparently feel that is outrageous and will destroy the future careers of their sons

    So the students right of free speech allows them to terrorize women on campus but a factual reporting of the situation merits the threat of lawsuits from their parents? Apparently the right to free speech argument is a “one way” defense. These troubled young men and DKE both need time away from any official affiliation with Yale.

  • yale

    People need to move on and stop harping on the past

  • MohawkMonk87

    What the Women’s Center says about DKE is largely irrelevant on account of the fact that they have no influence with women who feed frat culture generally. Does anyone else find it stunning that these groups periodically call the same people they want at their parties vulgar names: with accompanying threats of violence, and they still get high turnouts from said people at their parties (which, really, let’s be honest is the only reason why frats exist)?

    Forums are useless, high political rhetoric is useless; this is not an issue of political equality or the (largely fabricated) war of the sexes. This is an issue of depravity on the part of both genders who fuel frat culture.

    Undergrads, from someone who has already put in their four years for the BA, let me cut my preaching short and just say that you have the power to end these groups (and to lead happier lives potentially) without help from petitions, administrators, or the university. Reject the hookup culture, reject alcohol as the exclusive center of your social outings, establish close friendships and romantic relationships that are not based on these two self destructive elements of undergraduate society and the frats will become non-factors.

  • yale

    The WC forums are not useless, and the center should be commended for the work it has done to heal from this incident. That being said, the re-hashing of this incident and calls for punishing DKE get us nowhere