Today the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights announced it will open an investigation of Yale University "for its failure to eliminate a hostile sexual environment on campus, in violation of Title IX." The Yale Herald reports that earlier this month, 16 Yale students and alumni filed a complaint with OCR, citing several public scandals, including Delta Kappa Epsilon's rape chant, and private cases of sexual harassment and assault. Current student Hannah Zeavin, one of three complainants who have gone public, say the atmosphere on campus, "precludes women from having the same equal opportunity to the Yale education as their male counterparts."
The complaint includes personal accounts from five students, along with descriptions of these well-publicized incidents:
- Delta Kappa Epsilon pledges chanting "No means yes! Yes means anal!" on campus in October 2010.
- A September 2009 "Preseason Scouting Report" email, which was written and circulated by a group of male students. The email ranked 53 freshman women in the order of how many beers it would take to have sex with them.
- Pledges from Zeta Psi surrounding the entrance to the Yale Women's Center in January 2008 with signs that said "We Love Yale Sluts."
- Fraternity members stealing t-shirts inscribed with accounts of sexual assaults from the Clothesline Project in 2005.
In a recent report, Yale said it was taking sexual misconduct seriously and outlined plans for more educational programs and clinical services. However, the complainants say this response is inadequate. In a press release published by the Yale Daily News, they explain: