Yale University: Fraternity Suspended Five Years for ‘Intimidating’ Satirical Chant

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Yale University

In October 2010, pledges of the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity¬†at Yale University stood blindfolded on campus satirically chanting “no means yes, yes means anal.” DKE later apologized, and the international DKE fraternity temporarily suspended the Yale group’s pledge activities. Following an internal investigation by Yale, however, and under pressure from an investigation of Yale due to sexual harassment complaints made with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, Yale College Dean Mary Miller announced in May 2011 that DKE was being suspended from the college for five years and that some DKE students also had been found responsible for campus infractions because of the chant. Miller stated that DKE and the students were responsible for “harassment, coercion or intimidation” and “imperiling the integrity and values of the University community.” In June 2011, FIRE asked Yale to reverse the punishments in light of its very strong commitment to campus free speech, including the promise that free expression is Yale’s “paramount obligation.” FIRE also has urged Yale to fight federal pressure to censor the protected speech of its students.