When members of the Yale University fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon chanted, “No means yes! Yes means anal!” on campus in October 2010, little did they know that they would trigger a lawsuit against their school.
But that’s what happened when some student felt that the university failed to properly reprimand Delta Kappa Epsilon for its moronic chant. On March 15, these upset students filed a Title IX complaint against Yale for “failure to address incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault has created a ‘hostile environment.’”
The AP reports:
The students [who filed the complaint] cite incidents in which fraternities held up a sign “We love Yale sluts” outside a women’s center and chanted “no means yes” on campus last fall. They also say incoming female freshmen were ranked on attractiveness.
The complaints also include allegations that Yale failed to adequately respond to reports of sexual assault or attempted assault and stalking, said Alexandra Brodsky, a Yale junior who is one of the 16 complainants. She would not disclose the number of complaints or the documentation the students filed.
Brodsky said the students and former students who signed the complaints were “really frustrated and disappointed that Yale again and again fails to respond to both public and private acts of sexual harassment and assaults which creates an environment in which women feel devalued.”
“It creates barriers to these women participating in all aspects of Yale life and it perpetuates an environment in which these sort of acts are ok,” Brodsky said.
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced yesterday it will open an investigation to review Yale’s policies for dealing with sexual harassment and sexual assault. The investigation comes in response to a Title IX complaint filed against the University on Tues., Mar. 15. The complaint, a confidential suit between the 16 complainants and OCR , signed by both men and women who are current undergraduates and recent graduates of the University, alleges that Yale’s failure to properly address incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault has resulted in a “hostile environment.” In the words of complainant Hannah Zeavin, BK ’12, this campus climate “precludes women from having the same equal opportunity to the Yale education as their male counterparts.”
Title IX, passed under the Education Amendments of 1972, states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance,” and offers a course of redress against any institution that discriminates on the basis of sex.
The complaint is specifically addressed at an Oct. 2010 incident when members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity chanted, “No means yes! Yes means anal!” on Old Campus, but alleges that the Yale administration’s inadequate response to that incident was just one of many instances of the University’s failure to properly address public and private events of sexual harassment and assault. In an email, Dean Mary Miller, GRD ’81, declined to comment until the complaint had been received by the General Counsel.
Read the full story here, which gives more context on sexual harassment at Yale.