The XX Factor

The Yale Incident Wasn’t An Isolated One

Emily Y. posted earlier today about an incident that happened at Yale on Wednesday night: A group of members and pledges of the frat Delta Kappa Epsilon were heard around campus yelling chants like, “My name is Jack, I’m a necrophiliac, I f*** dead women, and fill them with my semen.”  Emily asked, “Where are the adults here? Why hasn’t the administration already taken action?” and she called for DKE’s suspension. These men should be punished, but banning DKE won’t solve the problem. The problem is pandemic across many groups on campus. The chant is actually a typical rally cry for another frat and for the men’s rugby team. These events aren’t isolated. Yale needs cultural change, and banning a fraternity without much more discussion won’t help.

In the past, Yale has set a precedent for trying to cover up the real issues at hand by attempting to settle issues quickly and quietly, without making a fuss. Three years ago, men in Zeta Psi stood in front of the Yale Women’s Center and posed for photographs with a sign that said “We Love Yale Sluts.” When Yale didn’t react, the Women’s Center threatened to sue the frat. Yale discouraged them from suing and the frat went by unpunished. At the beginning of last year, a group of upperclassmen sent around an e-mail that soon found its way into the inboxes of most Yale students. It was called a ” Pre-Season Scouting Report ,” and it ranked freshmen girls’ attractiveness based on how many beers it would take to have sex with them. Yale did nothing other than issue a statement saying this was not OK.

In each of these events, the first to respond has been the student-run Yale Women’s Center, not the president or provost’s or college dean’s offices, or any other official part of the university. The university needs to tackle these issues head-on by involving all the fraternities involved in a cultural change. It’s time for the university to step up and start taking these incidents seriously. They reflect a real problem.