One of the most positive results of the #MeToo movement is that women now really have each others' backs.
After a five-year ban suspending the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Yale came to an end, this willingness to fight for one another has become even more meaningful as female students at Yale now spread awareness about the risks of becoming associated with members of DKE.
After a series of scandals involving sexual assault, abuse, harassment, and rape, the Department of Education started an investigation into DKE and its members, claiming that the fraternity was helping to create a “hostile sexual environment on campus.” As a result, Yale suspended the group from associating with the university for five years between 2011 and 2016.
Promptly after the suspension took effect, DKE told reporters and school officials that sexual misconduct was a thing of the past. But since the ban was lifted, some people still claim that the fraternity’s culture hasn’t changed at all. Thankfully, women on campus are telling their friends and colleagues to stay away.
According to Business Insider, two women on Yale’s campus were assaulted by brothers of DKE during the 2016-17 school year. These cases were reported to the school, which ended up suspending the 2016-17 DKE president for three terms, alleging that he had been guilty of “penetration without consent.”
Several other women also told Business Insider that they had either experienced assault or witnessed DKE members engaging in sexual misconduct since 2014, proving that the ban did little to address the real issues.
DKE became widely known after the fraternity’s 2010 “Hell Week” when blindfolded and shirtless members marched around campus chanting, “No means yes, yes means anal.”
Some of the other disturbing chants that the brothers would yell included, “My name is Jack; I'm a necrophiliac. I f*** dead women and fill them with my semen."
In a recent op-ed written by Yale’s current DKE chapter president, Nicholas Hardy, he and the chapter’s current vice president, Andrew Johnson, said they are “appalled and disgusted by the allegations of sexual assault involving two Delta Kappa Epsilon members.”
They also promised to reform the organization.
Despite their promises, it’s difficult to imagine that real changes will come immediately, even if they were truly willing to work hard to change the culture of abuse. After so many years of harassment, the fraternity should be directed to prove they have truly changed before being allowed to associate with the school once again.
Fortunately, more women and men are now standing up and reporting abuse, making it more likely for perpetrators to be forced to pay for their crimes.
Banner/thumbnail : Reuters, Shannon Stapleton