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EUSA, societies seek disciplinary action for DKE-AS fraternity members

ByThurston Smalley

Nov 19, 2014

Editor’s note: This story is developing. Check back for further updates.

The Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) has assured action against the Delta Kappa Epsilon Alpha Sigma (DKE-AS) colony in the wake of explosive revelations of its rape-obsessed meetings published yesterday by The Student.

Several societies are also known to be in the process of taking action against the fraternity’s members.

On Wednesday evening, the Politics and International Relations Society (PIR Soc) passed a unanimous committee resolution to expel any members of the Society who are sanctioned by the University for their actions within Delta Kappa Epsilon.

And in a strongly-worded statement posted to EUSA’s website, Eve Livingston, Vice President Societies and Activities (VPSA), said that she had reported the fraternity to the University Secretary, Sarah Smith. The University is now understood to have appointed a senior member of staff to investigate the fraternity.

Livingston wrote: “This morning, when an article was published by The Student newspaper, we were alerted to the existence of minutes from a ‘Delta Kappa Epsilon’ fraternity meeting which detailed discussions of rape threats, transphobia and other unacceptable content.

“Delta Kappa Epsilon have no affiliation with EUSA.

“We as an organisation, alongside NUS Scotland, have publicly condemned them in the past, commenting on the dangerous and misogynistic nature of fraternities which have no place in our student community.

“We are shocked and appalled by the contents of the leaked minutes and our priority is absolutely the welfare and safety of our students.

“As of this morning I have raised the issue with the University Secretary as a breach of the Code of Student Conduct and a potential criminal offence, and I await an official response from the University.

“Students have my assurance that finding and disciplining those responsible for these unacceptable comments and threats will remain a top priority until this is resolved.”

The Edinburgh University Feminist Society (FemSoc) also issued a statement in response to The Student‘s findings, condemning the fraternity and calling for swift action on the part of the University. FemSoc has also planned a special meeting for members to discuss possible responses to the Delta Kappa Epsilon scandal.

The statement reads: “In light of the publication of the below article, FemSoc condemns in the strongest terms the abhorrent misogynistic and transphobic behaviour and statements made by the DKE frat. We hope the university will join us in standing up against sexism and take disciplinary action against students involved in the frat. We plan to take further action on this issue to make sure the Frat cannot continue to operate on this campus. If you would like to get involved or have ideas for action against the fraternity, please come along to our committee meeting this Thursday, 20th Nov, at 6pm in DHT 6.11.

“The fact that this type of behaviour is acceptable to a group of students, and that it was even recorded in official minutes, is a clear example of how rampant sexism and misogyny exists in our everyday surroundings, and we must fight it. Please join us in taking sexual assault, rape, and abuse with the utmost seriousness and respect, and make sure you are calling out anyone you know who jokes about it.

“The revelations in this article also confirm our long-standing view that the establishment of a frat chapter, or any all-male society in Edinburgh would be representative of misogyny and result in situations making people, particularly women, feel unsafe. We stand for a campus which does not tolerate inequality, hate speech, harrassment, or assault in any form.”

In a statement sent to The Student, the Politics and International Relations society denounced the fraternity and announced action against any PIR Soc members facing disciplinary action as a result of their membership of Delta Kappa Epsilon.

The statement reads: “The Politics and International Relations Society condemns in the strongest terms the DKE Fraternity.

“We believe that there may be a very small number of PIR Society members who are also members of the Frat. They have no place in the PIR Society. There are also a number of students in the Frat who are on the Politics or IR degree programmes.

“In light of recent revelations we want to make our stance absolutely clear – we agree with the position of EUSA that these sort of comments have no place on our campus. After the completion of the formal complaint process which has been initiated in the Student Disciplinary Committee, any members of the PIR Society who face sanctions from the University will be expelled from the PIR Society.”

By Thurston Smalley

Thurston is a final year French and politics student from Chertsey, England. He first wrote for his high school newspaper, The Phillipian, in 2009. He began writing for The Student in 2011, became News Editor in 2012, and Editor in Chief in 2015. He currently serves as President.

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