Delta Kappa Epsilon on Monday released a working draft of its recommendations for fostering a “safer and more welcoming environment,” which include sober monitors at parties, co-ed bouncers and bartenders, easy access to drinking water, alcohol serving restrictions and a barrier to prevent partygoers from venturing upstairs in the fraternity house, among other reforms.
The recommendations come in the wake of revelations of sexual misconduct at DKE, which were published in the News and Business Insider earlier this month. After learning that Business Insider planned to publish an article on sexual assault allegations against DKE brothers, the fraternity’s Yale chapter asked its national organization to investigate the social culture at the chapter. Monday’s recommendations, produced by a working group composed of six DKE brothers, represent the latest step in the fraternity’s efforts to improve its culture and create a safe environment at its parties, according to DKE President Nicholas Hardy ’18.
“In the interest of transparency, we are releasing a draft of our working group’s report in an effort to encourage as many students and groups as possible to engage in helping us improve as an organization,” a DKE spokesman told the News in a statement. “We are continuing to meet with organizations committed to fighting sexual misconduct on campus this week to incorporate their feedback.”
DKE members have already met with Communication and Consent Educators and two Yale sororities to discuss their recommendations, and plan to meet with Unite Against Sexual Assault at Yale and the Women’s Center later this week. DKE members have also met with multiple sports teams to discuss their fraternity’s culture, but the fraternity’s representative declined to specify which teams these were, as DKE has not yet asked their permission to be named.
The purpose of the recommendations, as stated in the report, is to proactively prevent incidents of sexual misconduct at DKE events, as well as to fulfill the organization’s institutional responsibility by making workshops with student groups like USAY and CCEs a mandatory part of pledging procedure.
The recommendations enumerated in the report include instituting sober monitors and co-ed bouncers, limiting alcohol distribution after 1 a.m. and pausing music between songs to give guests opportunities to avoid uncomfortable interactions. In addition, DKE plans to move the bar to a room with at least three exits, improve lighting in the house and install barriers to prevent guests from accessing the upstairs area during social events.
According to the recommendations, every DKE member will also be held accountable to the fraternity’s Code of Conduct in addition to the University’s Title IX regulations. The list of internal violations includes taking a guest upstairs during a social event, serving alcohol when not acting as a preselected bartender or refusing to follow the instructions of a sober monitor, bouncer or bartender. The fraternity will expel members found in violation of the regulations more than three times.
Lastly, the report focuses on transforming DKE’s general culture, mandating sexuality and consent workshops as a part of the pledging process, enforcing a minimum GPA requirement of 2.75 for its members and implementing an annual community service project.
The fraternity will appoint a Standards Committee that includes the president, vice president, a rush chair and a pledge educator to institute the policies outlined in the report and to hold all DKE members accountable. In an opinion column for the News, Hardy and DKE Vice President Andrew Johnson ’18 promised to involve as many people as possible in the process of reforming DKE’s culture.
Helen Price ’18, the co-founder of Unite Against Sexual Assault at Yale, told the News that the fraternity’s list of recommendations looked “pretty well thought-out and solid.”
“Of course, [the report] means nothing if they’re not consistently and properly implemented, but it’s definitely a good step,” Price said.
Associate Vice President for Student Life Burgwell Howard told the News on Sunday that he is encouraged by DKE’s willingness to engage in “serious introspection” and hopes that, in partnership with University offices and student groups, DKE will take the necessary steps to improve its social culture.
“I believe the actions of DKE are a positive first step towards addressing these concerns for a portion of our community,” Howard said. It will require the sustained attention of all members of the community to help us make the headway we all believe is necessary to create the healthy and respectful social environment we desire.”
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