c/o Rosy Capron
It’s not just radical student groups who can use banner drops for activism. Two large banners were hung outside of DKE today, promoting a pro-fraternity message: “Frats Not Fiction” and “276 High Street: DKE Owned/Operated For 147 Years…And Counting”.
It is not clear if this was done by current students or perhaps returning alumni. Either way, it is clearly timed to get attention during Homecoming, when there are many alumni, though not necessarily a whole lot of students, on campus.
In addition to these signs hanging from DKE, a small plane flew over the football field during the Homecoming game, carrying a banner that read “Wes Picks Our Bros? Fascism. Look it up.”
Following Monday’s announcement that Wesleyan’s single-sex residential fraternities (Psi Upsilon, Delta Kappa Epsilon, and theoretically Beta Theta Pi) must fully coeducate within three years, the University has already taken steps to enforcing this policy—but with new requirements affecting all of Greek life on campus. Beginning this semester, all Greek organizations are prohibited from taking freshman pledges.
In an email to residential Greek organization presidents on Tuesday, but which was only today brought to the attention of non-residential organizations (reproduced below), Dean Mike Whaley discussed the hiring of a new Greek Advisor and listed additional “safety measures” that now must be put into place by all Greek organizations on campus. The residential Alpha Delta Phi and Eclectic Societies are impacted, as well as the non-residential fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi (presumably Chi Psi, too) and non-residential sorority Rho Epsilon Pi.
Most notably, the University announced the elimination of “rush/pledging of first-year students,” starting immediately. Under this change, no students will be allowed to join Greek organizations until at least their sophomore year. Outside of frosh, rushing/pledging will continue as planned. In an email to Wesleying, Whaley clarified that “We are not eliminating rush/pledging this year. We are implementing a restriction on first-year students rushing/pledging during their first year on campus. Many institutions have a similar restriction.”
Princeton University passed a policy prohibiting freshman pledging in 2011, which began implementation in the fall of 2012. California Polytechnic State University did so in 2010, following the death of a freshman in an initiation ritual.
“The rationale, in part, is to allow frosh to get established with their academics and the campus prior to rush/pledge activities,” Whaley said. “Frosh can also be quite susceptible to peer pressure so we hope to reduce the possibility of hazing activities by implementing this restriction.”
In an email sent to the Wesleyan community this morning, the Chair of the Board of Trustees Joshua Boger ’73 and President Michael Roth ’78 informed the campus of the Board’s decision that all residential greek organizations must become fully co-educational in not just housing but within the greek organizations themselves.
The Board of Trustees convened in their retreat this past weekend, with more than half of the schedule dedicated to the issue of greek life on campus as well as the future of residential fraternities. This comes on the heel of the administration’s decision to declare Beta’s house off-limits to all students just a few weeks ago, in light of the discussions last semester within and outside of meetings in the Wesleyan Student Assembly over the issue of coeducation and residential fraternities.
Update (9/22/14 5:00PM): We asked DKE president Terence Durkin ’16 if the coeducation decision would affect their national membership and how they might implement coeducation. His response:
It is my understanding that our National Charter does not allow co-education, so this unilateral decision by the administration is problematic for us. It seems to do away with freedom of association for a specific, carefully chosen segment of the so-called Wesleyan “community”. The University is telling us who our friends are going to be, and who we must choose as our leaders. This is just not right. This is just not Wesleyan. We are exploring all options with our Alumni and undergraduates, and we will have more to say in the near future.
Dean Mike Whaley similarly reiterated that the national charter of DKE (and Beta) does not recognize coeducation, while Psi U’s does. He also pointed out that Alpha Delta Phi had a similar conflict with their national charter when they decided to co-educate in 1972. His response below:
I’ve not yet had a chance to work with any of the organizations yet given that the announcement was just made today. As President Roth’s announcement indicates, “If the organizations are to continue to be recognized as offering housing and social spaces for Wesleyan students, women as well as men must be full members and well-represented in the body and leadership of the organization.” We’ve invited each of the all-male fraternities to develop their own plans for realizing this goal, and I will be working with them as they develop and implement their plans to make sure they are likely to reach our objectives.
Psi U, whose national permits coeducation, has asked to meet with me later this week to begin discussions and planning.
You probably already know that Psi Upsilon’s national permits coeducation, while Beta’s and DKE’s do not. My understanding is that Alpha Delta Phi had a similar challenge with their national when they co-educated many years ago – how they overcame that obstacle could be instructive for the organizations.
From Michael Vaughan ’16:
The second official installment of Deep@DKE, a deep house dance party with sexy dance music from Brooklyn NY native, Sleepyhead and swervey opening set by Yung DJ M. Vaughan.
Get loose bb
Date: Thursday, May 1st, 2014
Place: Earth House
TRIGGER WARNING: The following discusses the issue of sexual assault at Wesleyan and may be triggering for some readers. Community and official support resources can be accessed here, here, and here.
If you’ve been on campus this semester, you’ve probably had at least one conversation about sexual assault and residential fraternities. Since spring break, there have been four contentious WSA meetings on the subject, drawing sexual assault survivors, fraternity brothers, and other members of the community together to discuss policy to reduce sexual assault, and what that means for Wesleyan’s residential fraternities. The discussion has morphed into a discussion encompassing not only sexual assault and fraternities, but also male privilege, gender equality, gender relations, and how all of those impact the social spaces in which we move daily.
Despite all the discussion on this topic, there has been considerable confusion on both sides about the various resolutions that have been introduced. This FAQ post aims to clear up some of that confusion.
Sexual assault has always been a problem on campus, but we haven’t talked about it much until a few months ago. Likewise, we don’t seriously discuss the role of fraternities on campus very frequently. How did the current discussion begin?
Last spring, a Wesleyan student was raped in the common room of Psi U. Following the incident, the student who committed the rape was dismissed by the University. The survivor left the University as well. In early March of this year, the survivor sued Psi Upsilon, the Wesleyan Xi Chapter of the frat, and several Psi U brothers for negligence. It was this lawsuit that set off the current discussions about sexual assault and fraternities.
When I arrived at the Top 40 Cover band show on Saturday at midnight, which was when the show was supposed to start, DKE was already filled to capacity, with several dozen people trying to get in. With the arrival of PSafe, the DKE members manning the door had no choice but to bark at the party hopefuls to go away, “as there is zero percent chance of you getting in.” I was only able to sidestep this impasse by brandishing my status as a photographer for the Argus/Wesleying. A Saturday night with questionable weather, freshmen in heat, nothing better to do: all had conspired to create a perfect storm.
When I got inside, I realized they weren’t kidding: the house (I was hoping the band would play in the basement, which has a higher capacity) was packed with throngs of underclassmen dancing to a selection of the best top 40 tunes of the past 10 years or so, with a heavy bias toward 2011 and 2012. Haters in the Building, who I’ve previously missed out on due to abroad-ness, are the cream of the crop: the lineup rotated between Julian Applebaum, Emma Daniels, Sam Ebb, Adrien DeFontaine, Will Feinstein, Henry Molofsky, and Danny Sullivan, Audrey Kiley (all ’13), Zack Kantor ’15, and Zak Malik ’14.
From Andrew McCloskey ’15:
The Brothers of Delta Kappa Epsilon and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life are cosponsoring an Interfaith Worship Service and September 11th Memorial on Sunday, 9/16 at 2 PM in Memorial Chapel. Reception to follow at DKE.
Date: Sunday, September 16th
Time: 2 pm
Place: Memorial Chapel/DKE
Non-seniors, this is the kind of event you can look forward to having later on. No word on what happens if you self-identify as a senior. From Ross Wells Gormley ’13:
This Saturday afternoon, come hang out in the backyards of Fountain/Pine with your fellow classmates for a welcome back SENIORS ONLY event!
Bring your blankets, frisbees, drinks/ID’s (Wesleyan and state-issued), and enjoy some tasty fare including grilled chicken, vegan dishes, and salads. There will also be performances by Smokin’ Lillies, IGBEE aka Bruce Durley, and Bones Complex.
A senior pass (a pass to Senior Cocktails, formal and semi-formal, and other outings) will be raffled along with a foosball table, Wes apparel, and gift certificates to local eateries. Tickets cost $1 each and a portion of the proceeds will go towards our Senior Gift.
DISCLAIMER: I’m an active participant in Greek Life at Wesleyan. All of the information herein therefore stems from my own experiences. While I intend to be objective, most of the information here is just one giant generalized perspective that’s far too broad to have any relevance at the individual member level.
In the time that you may have spent perusing websites about Greek life or college life, you may have encountered some of the following memes (Am I even using that right?): TFM, TSM, GDI, etc. Well, forget them. People will likely scoff at their use or just have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. Or you can always use them ironically. But, be careful. College Prowler might have you believe that Greek life doesn’t mesh with the Wesleyan mentality. In my opinion, the Greek societies might exemplify the most Wesleyan ideology. Yeah, I went there.
In all seriousness though, the rift between Greeks and non-Greeks is largely the derivative of over-active imaginations. In general, play by the rule that most students don’t enjoy being stereotyped or judged only by their membership in a campus organization. Not to mention that most things at Wesleyan draw a uniquely Wesleyan feel. So leave the ignorance at home, and get to know as many people as you can. Okay, I’ll hop off my soapbox now.
So, in this post, I’ll chronicle each society at Wesleyan, and let you know any information that I personally deem relevant for the incoming freshman student. But, if you don’t really care about what I have to say or are simply too lazy (completely acceptable), then just watch this video — my personal favorite YouTube video about all things Wesleyan. Here they are though: Alpha Delta Phi, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Beta Theta Pi, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Eclectic, Phi Beta Sigma, Psi Upsilon, Rho Epsilon Pi. Too much information after the jump.