Petitions urge University to take action against DKE

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By Jordi Gasso

Staff reporter-Yale Daily News

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

At least two online petitions urging University administrators to take action against the DKE fraternity have sprung up since members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity chanted offensive statements on Old Campus Wednesday night.

One asks University President Richard Levin to publicly denounce the behavior of the DKE pledges during an initiation ritual, where they chanted and shouted phrases such as “No means yes, yes means anal” and “My name is Jack, I’m a necrophiliac, I f— dead women.”

According to the blog, yaleresponse.wordpress.com, which hosts the petition, the petition is being spearheaded by a group of unspecified Yale alumni. Their petition references similar previous episodes — such as the Zeta Psi “We Love Yale Sluts” incident in 2008 and last year’s “Preseason Scouting Report,” which ranked 53 freshman women based on appearance — to prove the need for an official Yale response.

“By not offering an unequivocal denunciation from the Office of the President, the university communicates indifference to DKE’s actions,” the petition says.

Change.org, a website dedicated to social change initiatives and advocacy issues, has launched another petition motivated by the DKE incident, started by Dartmouth graduate and change.org editor Alex DiBranco.

The petition, titled “Tell Yale to Discipline Fraternity for Pro-Rape Chant,” asserts that the dialogue between DKE and the Women’s Center “isn’t enough,” and also calls for Levin and Yale College Dean Mary Miller to take disciplinary measures against the fraternity. The petition also supports Yale feminist magazine Broad Recognition’s request for “real administrative action.”

The Yale Response and change.org petitions have garnered 1,094 and 1,375 signatures respectively, as of 8:40 p.m. Tuesday. Elizabeth Deutsch ’11, business coordinator for the Women’s Center, said the Center is not involved in either of these petitions.

Dan has over 13 years experience working on ending violence against women. Before joining CALCASA in September 2000, Dan was a rape crisis counselor, volunteer coordinator, and interim Co-Director of the Rape Crisis Center at the Center for Community Solutions in San Diego, CA. As the first male of color to work at the rape crisis center in San Diego, he worked on several projects focusing on the needs of monolingual Spanish-speaking survivors, the Deaf Community, the LGBT Community, male survivors of sexual assault, university students and training of law enforcement on responding to sexual assault/domestic violence survivors. Dan is currently the Director of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, Campus Program at CALCASA. Dan has also been involved with Amnesty International USA since 2005 in bridging together violence against women and human rights issues.

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