Fraternities & Frat Culture

Yale University this month banned Delta Kappa Epsilon for five years - after members of the fraternity chanted sexist obscenities on campus. The incident has reignited an old debate: Do fraternities naturally breed misogyny? And should they have a place on campus?



Part Three of The Current

Fraternities & Frat Culture

We started this segment with a clip from a chant ... that gets a lot worse - which is why we've spared you the rest of it. It's also why the men chanting it.... all members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (DKE) at Yale University got into such trouble. On October 13 of 2010, they marched outside the campus women's centre, yelling sexist remarks and obscenities. In mid-May, the university officially took action against the fraternity for their actions - suspending Delta Kappa Epsilon from campus activities for five years.

It's not the first time a fraternity has been accused of sexist, misogynist behaviour ... which is why the case is reigniting a lot of old concerns. Some critics say the very nature of fraternities makes them a negative presence for women on university campuses. And some are going as far as to say that all frats should be banned.

Alexandra Brodsky is part of a group of 16 Yale students that launched a formal complaint against Yale through the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights. She says the university is not doing enough to protect women from sexual harassment. We aired a clip.

John Foubert makes a more definitive connection. He's an associate professor of college student development at Oklahoma State University. He did a study of 565 male students at an American university. We aired a clip with what he found.

Many fraternity members bristle at the suggestion their culture breeds behaviour that is harmful to women. David Edwards is a new member of the Sigma Chi House at the University of British Columbia. We heard from him.

For another perspective on this debate, we tracked down Nicholas Syrett. He's what you could call an expert on fraternities and frat culture. He's an assistant professor of history at the University of Northern Colorado, and author of the book The Company He Keeps: a history of white college fraternities. Nicholas Syrett was in San Francisco.

Fraternities & Frat Culture

We started this segment with The Current's Lisa Hale getting a tour of UBC's Sigma Chi House with Mike Richmond and Shawn Stewart. And for the bigger picture ... we aired some facts about fraternities in Canada.

Well, the debate over fraternities is clearly not new to Canada. And Justin Kaplan has been following it closely. He is an undergraduate counselor of the Acacia fraternity chapter at Carleton University, and in that capacity helps oversee 36 Acacia chapters across North America. He was in Ottawa.

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Last Word - Hockey Cakes

Well, tonight it's Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals in Vancouver ... the Canucks versus the Boston Bruins. But it's not just Boston and Vancouver that are getting all worked up about the series. The in-store bakery at Coleman's Supermarket in Corner Brook, Newfoundland is selling cakes decorated with the logos of both teams. And the sweet treats are scoring big with hockey fans. We ended the program today with cake decorator Tiffany Wheeler and customer Tony Bullen. They got the last word today.


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