The American Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity or DKE recently announced its intention to establish ‘colonies’ at various universities across the UK. Despite having established groups at Edinburgh, Warwick and Oxford Universities, the Delta Kappa’s now seem to face a much colder reception.
Pat Mathewson, president of the University of St Andrews Students Association, commented on the Delta Kappa’s plans noting that he ‘would be very surprised if they were successful in setting up here.’ Whilst a spokesperson for the National Union of Students cited ‘Dangerous hazing ceremonies, misogyny and sexism have no place on our campuses, and neither do societies and fraternities which indulge in them.’
The comments of the NUS spokesperson allude to a number of disturbing allegations surrounding the Delta Kappa fraternity. In 1989 the fraternity was banned from Colgate University after officials found its members guilty of ‘hazing’ or more accurately, instigating embarrassing, abusive or even violent initiation rituals for new fraternity members. In 2008, 5 sexual assaults charges were leveled at Kappa’s attending the University of California and in 2010, the DKE was banned from Yale University when its members hurled pro-rape chants at female students.
The official DKE site names Glasgow as one of the UK universities in which it would be eager to form a chapter. QMU President Lauren Hinton offered comment on the possibility of Campus affiliation, ‘The reputation surrounding DKE is one riddled with misogyny. It cannot be denied that misogyny on the University of Glasgow campus is something that has been encountered before and the QMU has a history of battling it. Misogyny is an on-going conversation and the QMU, along with the other student bodies, will continue to take measures against it. It is with this in mind that I can’t consider the DKE to be of any benefit to the student experience here and instead see it as potential threat to the atmosphere of welcome and acceptance on campus that so many people work towards solidifying.’
It seems clear the DKE would have difficulty affiliating officially with the University. However the Kappa’s could feasibly adopt an unofficial presence at Glasgow as they did after being banned from the University of California in 2008.