EdinBRO? EUSA concerns as Ivy League fraternity seeks to colonise uni
Delta Kappa Epsilon, the controversial Yale fraternity, are coming to Edinburgh. Students raise concerns.
• 170-year-old Yale Fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon trying to set up Edinburgh chapter
• Society was banned for five years after members caught chanting: “No means yes! Yes means anal!”
• EUSA’s Kirsty Haigh warns of DKE’s “misogyny”
Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE), a 170-year-old Yale fraternity, is attempting to set up a colony in Edinburgh.
Although DKE has 52 active chapters across the USA and Canada, this is their first attempt at penetrating countries outside of North America.
DKE is a particularly prestigious fraternity, counting five former US presidents (including both Bushes) among the great leaders who have emerged from its ranks of ‘Gentlemen, Scholars, and Jolly Good Fellows’.
However, controversy has emerged over the planned colonisation. Some Edinburgh students fear that DKE could introduce misogyny and nepotism to the university. Although DKE would not be an official society, they will still be associated with the university.
EUSA’s Vice President of Services, Kirsty Haigh, told The Tab, “Lots of students have expressed concern about it existing at all. Its origins of misogyny do not disappear simply because it is only an informal group.”
Ms Haigh cited the “general culture” of fraternities, as well as “specific instances” that have attracted controversy.
DKE has a reputation for raucous public displays of sexism. In 2011, the Yale chapter received a five-year suspension for “misogynistic rituals”, when members were caught chanting, “No means yes! Yes means anal!”, in public.
Fraternities also have a reputation for “hazing” (rituals where established members abuse new ones, often involving a sadomasochistic and homoerotic subtext). Such practises are banned on the Edinburgh campus.
When asked about the importance of the fraternity, Ms Haigh said: “Frat culture already exists on our campus – we call it lad culture. However, we don’t have a group or society of which that makes up one of their primary focuses.”
Whilst EUSA cannot directly take action against the establishment of the fraternity, pressure can be put on the University to prevent affiliation and students can use the complaints procedure to complain about the society or its members.
As yet, the most radical action taken against DKE has been the covering up of their graffiti with feminist graffiti.