In a Facebook post published Monday night, members of Leo, a Yale fraternity formerly affiliated with Sigma Alpha Epsilon, denied allegations made by a Southern Connecticut State University student, Alexys Barrett, that she and her friends were turned away from a Saturday night party on the basis of race.
Barrett, who described the alleged incident in a Facebook post in the early hours of Sunday morning, did not mention Leo by name, but wrote that the fraternity house in question was located at 35 High St., Leo’s address. In her post, Barrett said she tried to enter Leo after a friend told her that he believed he had been turned away minutes earlier because of his race. Barrett said she was told by “two guys” at the door that the fraternity was shutting down for the night and not letting anyone else in. As she walked away, Barrett said, she saw a group of “white young men” who were allowed to enter the house after they were asked to show their IDs.
Barrett said she responded to being turned away by calling in a noise complaint on Leo. She added that her friends later saw a group of women struggle to bring a black member of their group into the fraternity even after all the white members of their group were allowed inside.
“I let [the police officer] know that I called because they were being racist, not letting people of color into their party,” Barrett wrote.
In the Facebook post on Monday, Leo said that the SCSU student was turned away because of the fraternity’s policy of only admitting students with a Yale ID. This policy is common among Yale fraternities and was recommended by the University “for safety and legal reasons,” the members wrote.
“We have already made contact with the individual who posted to clarify that there was not any sort of discrimination beyond the requirement of a Yale ID,” members of Leo wrote. “Additionally, we’ve reached out to the Dean’s Office and are confident that they will help bring truth to the situation.”
But in an interview with the News on Tuesday night, Barrett said the doorman at LEO never asked her for ID.
“He said that they only allow students inside that have Yale IDs or are accompanied by someone with a Yale ID, which is fine if that is what they were actually practicing that night,” she said. “But they did not ask me for an ID. They just turned me away.”
In the post, Leo described itself as one of the most diverse fraternities on campus and condemned injustice and discrimination. It also called on concerned individuals to reach out to members of Leo.
In 2015, when LEO was still affiliated with the national SAE organization, a black Yale student accused the fraternity of holding a “white girls only” party on Halloween. The fraternity denied the allegations, and a subsequent investigation by the Yale College Dean’s Office did not lead to disciplinary action. But the episode helped spark months of racially charged protests on Yale’s campus.
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