Despite the new allegations of sexual misconduct at Yale’s chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon, the organization appears unlikely to face any formal censure by the University.
Over the last week, stories in the News and Business Insider have documented allegations of rape against two former members of DKE, including the fraternity’s former president, Luke Persichetti, who was suspended from school for three semesters after Yale found him guilty of “penetration without consent.” But despite the victims’ claims that the culture at DKE has not changed since Yale imposed a five-year ban on the fraternity in 2011, it appears that the University has no plans to penalize the fraternity once again.
“When an individual violates Yale’s standards in a way that cannot be tied fairly to the student’s organization, the sanction falls on the individual, not the organization,” University President Salovey told the News on Sunday, responding to questions about whether the University would punish DKE in light of the assault allegations.
In the past, he added, Yale has punished organizations when “activities promoted or encouraged by student organizations have violated Yale’s standards.”
In October 2010, new members of DKE chanted “no means yes, yes means anal” outside the Women’s Center. Six months later, the Yale College Executive Committee imposed a five-year campus ban on the fraternity for violating the Undergraduate Regulations of Yale College as they pertain to “harassment, coercion or intimidation” and “imperiling the integrity and values of the University community.”
As part of the ban, DKE was prohibited from associating with Yale, holding on-campus events and using Yale emails or bulletin boards to communicate with students.
Yale also formally asked the national DKE organization to suspend the Yale chapter for five years. The national organization suspended DKE’s pledging activities for six weeks, but did not carry out a longer suspension.
In an email to the News on Sunday, Associate Vice President for Student Life Burgwell Howard said that DKE leadership has been in touch with the University and other student groups to discuss the fraternity’s culture and the recent allegations against certain members.
“I know that my office and the staff of the Office of Gender and Campus Culture are actively looking for ways to support and work with DKE and other Greek letter organizations to raise awareness, modify practices and make Yale a safer campus for all our students,” Howard said.
Dean of Yale Marvin Chun referred questions about DKE to University spokesman Tom Conroy, who provided the News with the same statement Yale gave to Business Insider for its article about sexual assault in DKE.
“We have intensified our efforts in recent years to address and prevent sexual misconduct on our campus through the creation and expansion of policies and programs and the active engagement of the university community,” Yale’s statement reads. “We are eager to identify and address any barriers that discourage individuals from accessing our resources … we have worked hard to assure individuals (complainants and respondents) that their information will be treated confidentially by Title IX coordinators and others who administer Title IX processes.”
The University found Persichetti guilty of “penetration without consent” in December 2016 after he assaulted a female student in the aftermath of the fraternity’s annual DKEmas party. But confidentiality rules, which prohibit those involved in a Title IX case from publicly discussing University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct proceedings, prevent the victim from discussing the details of Yale’s decision to suspect Persichetti. The other victim never filed a Title IX complaint.
Earlier this month, days after a reporter from Business Insider contacted fraternity members about allegations of sexual assault against its members, the Yale chapter of DKE asked its national organization to investigate the fraternity’s sexual climate and promised to suspend all social events until the investigation concludes.
The University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct was formed in 2011.
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