Section: News

Student Council vote on DKE reinstatement pushed to next week

Student Council vote on DKE reinstatement pushed to next week

ALEX GILKEY

Students petitioning to reinstate the Lambda chapter of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (DKE) met with Student Council on Nov. 22. Student Council had planned to vote to approve or deny their petition for reinstatement at the meeting, but they postponed the vote until its next meeting on Dec. 6. 

Following an investigation in the spring of 2018 that found the organization guilty of hazing practices, the Lambda chapter was suspended until either four years had passed, or its last active members had graduated. The last of those active members graduated in May.

The petitioners for DKE’s reinstatement, who are all currently seniors, had nearly finished the new member education process when the fraternity was suspended that spring. They were never officially initiated and, as such, were allowed to petition the College for reinstatement.  

The petitioners began the formal process for reinstatement in December 2019, when Greek Council gave them approval to submit their formal petition. They submitted their first petition to Greek Council in January, but it failed to pass. The petitioners submitted a revised petition this past May, which Greek Council voted to approve. The petition was then sent to Student Council for a final vote, which was scheduled to take place on Nov. 22.

During the meeting on Nov. 22, Student Council members brought up issues regarding the petition. They voiced concerns about the way the organization would carry out its new member education process and how it would prevent hazing in the future.

The petitioners elaborated on the changes they had made to the chapter’s constitution to address these issues. They explained that they had amended Article X to require the attendance of a third-party moderator at all new member education events. 

Junior Class President Skyler Lesser-Roy ’22 asked about how the organization would prevent hazing once the third-party moderators were no longer present at new member education events. 

“We’re setting up our new member education [process] so that it is impossible for hazing to happen,” replied Nate Saindon ’21, the organization’s acting vice president. The petitioners emphasized that all new member events, whether in person or virtual, would be recorded and made available for review by the administration. 

Student Council members were also concerned about how, if reinstated, the organization would hold members accountable for possible Title IX violations or allegations of sexual misconduct. 

In response, the petitioners presented additional revisions to the chapter’s constitution. These include mandated yearly Green Dot training for all members, Title IX training for all members and meetings with Sexual Respect Peer Alliance representatives.

As a result of the issues brought up during the Nov. 22 meeting, the petitioners met with the Office for Civil Rights on Nov. 24 in order to further amend their constitution. “We want to make sure our [Title IX] policy is as comprehensive as possible as well as expanding our internal reporting system,” the petitioners wrote in an email to the Collegian. 

They also met with Ted Mason and Chris Kennerly, the associate provost and the director at the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, in order to amend and expand the parts of the constitution that concerned anti-racism and anti-bias training. 

“We want to leave no stone unturned, so we are working with Kenyon faculty, administrators, and students to address every single aspect of our Constitution and make sure it provides a positive impact for the entire campus,” the petitioners said. 

If Student Council votes to deny the petition during its next meeting on Dec. 6, the petitioners said they plan to revise the constitution further. If Student Council approves the petition at the meeting, the Lambda chapter will be fully reinstated and DKE will be free to begin recruiting new members as early as the spring semester.

Staff writer Spencer Hirsch ’23 contributed to reporting.

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