Way back in October, we helped break the story of Yale’s Delta Kappa Epsilon pledging ritual that involved marching blindfolded pledges around campus shouting ““No means yes, yes means anal” and “Fucking sluts.”
Today, the Yale administration announced the findings of the task force assigned to assess the situation and report back. In an email to the Yale community, the dean of Yale College states:
The central recommendations of this task force collectively call for sustained, coordinated attention to the ongoing education and prevention of sexual misconduct at Yale. The recommendations call for:
1. Expanding the pool of well-supported, knowledgeable student educators
2. Raising the level of student knowledge through mandatory educational programs
3. Providing more education and guidance for administrators and faculty
4. Expanding professional education resources
5. Developing clinical services for students accused of sexual misconduct
6. Forming a standing committee to evaluate Yale’s sexual misconduct education, intervention, and response strategies
Implementation of many of the task force recommendations has already begun. We are focusing first on freshman orientation, including augmented education and training for freshman counselors and peer liaisons who work with first year students. We will also work consistently with the upper classes through peer educators.
Neither the task force recommendations nor the implementation measures represent a conclusion to our work on sexual conduct and misconduct. We recognize that members of the Yale College community need to continue to engage in difficult conversations as we move to a culture of greater respect for one another. We know we have work to do to transform our community’s understanding of all of the issues at stake, and we are taking steps to encourage such dialogue as part of the routine operations of the College.
The rest of the report (which you can find here) emphasizes more education and resources to help faculty and students alike deal with cases of sexual misconduct. While it’s hardly an end-all solution, it’s to Yale’s credit that its administration has taken the problem head-on and made its denouncement public. As Jezebel lays it out:
Many universities would have formed a committee, then made sure that the report didn’t come back until months later when everyone had forgotten about the incident. To Yale’s credit, it’s responded in less than six months with specific ways to beef up programs that combat sexual harassment and violence. Rather than chalking up DKE’s behavior to (extremely privileged) boys being boys, it appears the school used to controversy to have a real conversation about how to combat misogyny on campus.
It’s too soon to tell—and difficult to measure—how effective the plan will be, but we sure are glad to see action being taken.