Yale Fraternity Hazing: Lewd and Crude “Fratitude”

Samantha Shinn

Yale University’s fraternity, Delta Kappa Epsilon, has dug themselves a big hole during their initiation week that will take them a while to get out of. This past week, their freshman pledges made a complete disgrace of their organization through their appalling behavior through the hazing techniques adopted by the fraternity this year.

The pledges for DKE marched blindfolded through Old Campus, the heart of undergraduate life and where the freshman residence halls are located at Yale University, shouting the misogynistic chant “No means yes and yes means (a certain type of sexual act).” It is even said that they referred to necrophilia in their chants. This incident was caught on tape and has spread like a virus on the internet.

The Yale University President, Richard Levin, and the Dean of Yale University, Mary Miller, wrote a letter to the community that said, “we will confront this hateful speech when it is uttered…no member of our community should engage in such demeaning behavior. However, Yale has a strong history and many policies to protect students’ freedom of expression.” The letter addresses that they also believe in respect and decency, neither of which was shown by the pledges. And due to the offensiveness of this situation, the international leaders of DKE will be coming soon to meet with the Yale chapter of DKE to discuss the seriousness of this “prank.” The leaders said that the chants were “deeply offensive and do not adhere the standards of morals and behavior expected of DKE members”.

When asked what they thought about this episode, the leaders thought of the chants as “caveman behavior” and “creepy.” One student remarked that the behavior of the DKE pledges was not the way that Yale students should behave, and many others claimed that they were embarrassed by the situation. Two years ago, the Zeta Psi fraternity held up signs that insulted and demeaned Yale women in front of the women’s center; due to this event, the leaders of the women’s center have experience in crude fraternity pranks. They thought that this prank was even worse than most because it was conducted outside of impressionable freshman dorms. They said that the verses were indicating that rape and sexual violence are a joke.

Senior Jordan Forney, the president of the Yale chapter of DKE, made a personal and public apology at the first forum following this event. He said that the fraternity represented a “complete lack of judgment” and asks that this incident does not alter anyone’s opinion of their organization. However, even after his apology was made, the issue was far from over. Students and the rest of the New Haven community cannot seem to get over this offensive act.

The Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity has been forced to not accept anymore pledges and to halt in all of their activities for the time being, because both Levin and Miller want to foster a community where men and women respect one another. The resulting punishment has yet to be determined by Yale University for disrupting the community, or by their DKE leaders for disgracing the entire organization.