When we were first contacted by a reporter for Business Insider, we were all appalled and disgusted by the allegations of sexual assault involving two Delta Kappa Epsilon members. The subsequent article detailed a number of shocking and disturbing incidents that we as an organization must do everything we can to prevent happening again.
We learned the details of one of these allegations following the completion of Title IX proceedings almost a year ago and immediately expelled that member from our organization. We had no prior knowledge of the second allegation but were approached by the member in question who resigned his membership of DKE upon publication of the Business Insider article. Both individuals consequently no longer have any involvement in DKE.
Collectively, DKE members understand the gravity to radically transform the culture of our fraternity; both the security of our social space and the manner by which we hold each other accountable are imperative to ensuring real change takes place. We are all totally committed to making any and all necessary changes to do our part to stamp out sexual assault across Yale’s campus.
That is why, last November, we established a working group of six members charged with the responsibility of exploring ways in which we can help contribute to a safer environment for all Yale students.
It is also why we continue to rigidly, without deviation or delay, exercise a zero tolerance policy of expelling members — for life — who are found to have breached Yale’s Title IX regulations.
And it is why our board voted unanimously to request a national investigation and to issue a ban on social events until it is complete. We want to receive honest and candid feedback on how we can improve institutionally to provide a more welcoming and safer environment for all students.
But in a recent News article, we were issued a challenge by the Women’s Center in their response to our plans. They raised the transparency of our process for implementing change and asked us to whom we hold ourselves accountable. The answer to that question is everybody; we willingly take up their challenge to conduct this process openly and for the benefit of every student at this University and we therefore commit to three things.
Firstly, we commit to transparency. By Jan. 28, our working group will have completed a draft list of recommendations for ways DKE can host a safer and more welcoming space. We plan to share these recommendations with student groups and the Yale administration to discuss their feedback and suggestions. We will seek brutally honest critique, as we want to implement policies that will truly effect positive change. Furthermore, we will offer a full list of the changes we intend to implement to the News by Feb. 11. We hope the News will scrutinize and analyze that list, enabling every student on campus to hold us accountable.
Secondly, we commit to involving as many people as possible in this process. We want to meet with every single student, group and administrator that wishes to contribute to the reform of our organization. We’re looking forward to taking up the Women’s Center on their invitation to share our report with them during this process and we have also reached out to the CCEs and USAY, but we want to give everyone an opportunity to have the same input. If you’d like to be a part of this, please reach out to us.
Lastly, we commit to accountability. There will be many people who will consider this process to be a cynical exercise. To those people we say this: True change has been promised but not delivered in the past and we know we have to earn your trust. That’s exactly what we intend to do. When this process is complete and our report has been published, we will be inviting every member of the Yale community who took part in contributing to the ways we can improve, to see for themselves if change has truly been implemented. An open invitation to every social event DKE hosts will be extended to these individuals and we truly hope they will take us up on that offer, to hold us accountable in our efforts to improve.
We want to do everything possible to improve the climate of our organization, ensuring safety, security, warmth and welcome for every student who walks through our doors. But we will need the help of everyone at Yale engaged in the fight against sexual misconduct to do so, because if we are to truly hold our organization to the highest possible standard, we require all of campus to hold us accountable.
Nicholas Hardy is a senior in Morse College and the president of Delta Kappa Epsilon. Andrew Johnson is a senior in Saybrook College and the vice-president of Delta Kappa Epsilon. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com .