The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Government pressure got frat kicked off campus?

Last week colleges were abuzz with news that Yale University had decided to kick the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity off campus for sexist hazing antics which occurred in October of 2010. The decision has its supporters and its critics, yet both sides speculate that political pressure from the federal government led the Ivy to give DKE the boot.

The federal government has put more focus on the problems of sexual harassment and violence on campus in recent months, specifically: Vice President Joe Biden’s anti-sexual violence on campus push, “Dear Colleague” letters from the Education Department lowering the standard of proof for sexual assault on campus, and Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey’s introduction of the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE Act).

Likely most effective in getting Yale to hop to action was the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) decision to launch an investigation into sexual harassment policies at Yale, a direct response to a Title IX complaint filed against the University for the October DKE debacle.

Doug Lanpher executive director of DKE told The Daily Caller that the timing was a bit suspicious, given that most thought the books had been closed on the incident – until the government started putting pressure on the school this year.

“Obviously I was not in the decision making halls at Yale when they decided this punishment against us,” he said. “We kind of thought the issue had been taken care of within Yale and then they decided to review and bring the sanctions up this many months later, so its curious.”

President and co-founder of the women’s advocacy group The New Agenda said that federal pressure was likely the reason for Yale’s action, and that is was high time they did so.

“This has been going on at that university -it is well documented in what those students filed- its been going on for years. When you read about what is going on at that school they are clearly one of the worst campuses for this kind of activity,” Siskind said, adding that even now she would never send her own daughter to Yale, until they actually take steps to change what she says has turned into a crisis.

The student speech advocacy group, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has been one of the decision’s loudest opponents. According to FIRE the decision was all about stifling speech to cater to the desires of a politically correct administration.

“The incident happened in October, the fraternity apologized, the Women’s Center wanted to educate people, Yale stuck by its commitment to free speech, and the fraternity had been operating as usual since the month long suspension of pledge activities,” wrote Robert L. Shibley, FIRE’s Senior Vice President. “What is the point of punishing people six months later? What happened? Politics happened. More specifically, national politics happened.”

Yale spokesman, Tom Conroy, explained that the length of time between the incident and punishment was less about pressure from the federal government and more about the thorough process Yale’s Executive Committee, composed of faculty and students, needed to take to reach a final conclusion.

“[T]he process calls for fact-finding and a hearing, etc., which takes time,” Conroy wrote in an email to TheDC. “The members of the committee made their determination that undergraduate regulations had been violated after reviewing the facts…Nothing else [other than the Dean’s explanation letter to the student body] was unusual about the disciplinary process the Executive Committee followed or the timing. I know the shorthand is that ‘Yale’ took action, but it was the faculty and the students who serve on the Committee and applied the regulations as they deemed appropriate.”

  • Pingback: Behind a Yale fraternity’s suspension

  • Pingback: Never Yet Melted » Yale’s DKE Fraternity: Only a Canary in the National Coal Mine

  • BigRmv

    I wonder if Joe Biden sent the same anti-sexual violence message to his college Al (Gee it’s warm in here) Gore?

  • mojo

    No Dykes at Yale? Whatwhatwhat?

  • jacko

    Not to call into question the attempt by the D.C. to suggest that the Obama Nanny State is forcing us all to be politically correct, abridging our free speech, and strong-arming our universities but this article leaves a few small details that put Yale’s decision in context:
    (Newser) – A major Yale fraternity was forced to apologize yesterday, after its members marched past the college’s Old Campus—where most first-year women are housed—chanting “No means yes, yes means anal,” and “F—ing sluts,” among other comments. Several were blindfolded. The incident, part of Delta Kappa Epsilon’s pledge ritual, was caught on tape and posted to YouTube immediately Wednesday night, according to Salon.

    • aelfheld

      So only those being rude and crude for an ‘acceptable’ purpose are to be accorded free speech?

      Without condoning what they did (were I in charge, they’d be forcefully invited to depart) there is something totalitarian in the acceptance of a ‘right’ not to be offended. Especially when that ‘right’ is used to suppress the free speech of those who are not ‘politically correct’.

  • aelfheld

    “[...] lowering the standard of proof for sexual assault on campus [...]”

    Expect to hear of more ‘morning-after’ rapes.

    • BigRmv

      Haven’t you been paying attention? Men are bad. Republicans are bad. Neither are welcome in the halls of higher learning or government. But wait until some terrorist idiot with an agenda shows up and everyone starts looking for the NRA member with the white Stetson and “that look” in his eyes, don’t they?