Not long after midnight on January 16 of this year, twelve pledges of Yale’s Zeta Psi gathered at the entrance of the campus women’s center. They shouted “Dick! Dick! Dick! Dick!” and held up a sign that said “We Love Yale Sluts.”
Their act was part of a pledging “scavanger hunt,” and a photo of the group holding the sign was soon posted on Facebook.
Interference with the women’s center is an annual ritual during fraternity initiations at Yale. Last year an unidentified group gathered outside the center and chanted “No means yes, yes means anal!”
Under Yale’s code of student conduct, behavior that “has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating or hostile academic or work environment” constitutes sexual harassment. This year women’s center members, arguing that the chants and the sign had the effect of interfering with women’s access to the center, filed charges of intimidation and harassment against the members of Zeta Psi.
The members of the fraternity were found not guilty of the charges nearly a month ago, but the committee’s decision did not become publicly known until this week, when news leaked to the Yale Daily News. Executive committee disciplinary proceedings are confidential, and no formal statement on the charges or their outcome has been made.
Story via Feministing, who have the best ongoing coverage of campus issues of any major political blog I know.
Update: In the course of filing the charges, the women’s center submitted a 26-page report on fraternity culture, university policies on frats and on sexual harassment, and the status of the women’s center on the Yale campus. That report is now available online.