The future of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity became a bit less hazy this week.
The fraternity is provisionally reinstated as a student group almost three years after horrific hazing activity within the fraternity was brought to light. Members of the frat have been working hard during these three years to work their way back into the U of A community, but cutting the suspension period short serves no purpose and teaches no lesson. If the U of A administration wanted to send a zero-tolerance message about hazing, the five-year suspension should’ve been upheld.
When videos surfaced of malicious hazing activities occurring within the fraternity in 2010, which included the ingestion of vomit and sleep deprivation amongst other illicit activities, much of the university community was horrified. This resulted in a five-year suspension of the DKE fraternity’s status as student group on campus, and justifiably so.
U of A administration made the right choice by suspending the fraternity, but now it seems they’re being let off the hook. Dean of Students Frank Robinson stated that the frat has logged over 1500 hours of community service, raised over $25,000 for charity and has implemented mandatory leadership and anti-hazing education. The DKE fraternity stated, “Alberta Dekes have a long and proud history at the University of Alberta, and we are excited about returning to campus and being a positive contributor to student life as a recognized student group.”
It’s commendable that the Dekes have made great strides in trying to better themselves and end the incidents of hazing, and admittedly, they’ve done quite a bit for charity and the local community. But the premature ending of a suspension — albeit provisionally — sends the wrong message about discipline at the U of A. The senseless and disgusting hazing acts performed behind the walls of the DKE house won’t soon be forgotten, and if the Dekes are making such great strides towards becoming better members of the community, there should be no problem in upholding the entire five-year ban. Perhaps we should ask the victims of these hazing acts if they feel like the Dekes have learned their lesson and deserve to be let back into the campus community.
Three years is really no time at all when you think about it. There’s student turnover of course, but three years of helping out in the community will do little to erase the culture of hazing in fraternities.
The U of A administration had an opportunity to make an example out of the Dekes and show them that hazing of any kind will not be accepted on campus. Instead, the Dekes had to do three years of community service and relationship building — something they should’ve been doing anyway.
Robinson goes on to state that “The Dekes will be under a lot of scrutiny, by us as well as others now that they’ve chosen to register as a student group again… However they still have a lot to work to do going forward.”
In order to hold people accountable for their actions, the U of A community as a whole must continue to scrutinize the DKE fraternity. Hazing should not be tolerated.
On this special short edition of The Gateway Presents, we celebrate the Gateway’s 103rd birthday by telling some birthday stories and talking about The Gateway’s history.
Since this is a music blog and not an exhausted-consideration-on-moments-in-my-life Tumblr blog, what better way to gain some clarity to what I’ve listened to in the past 11 months than order and number songs (one for each month) that I’ve found to be the best and most worthwhile from the past eleven months?
Lister Hall Students’ Association President Samuel Wright provided an update to Council on the status of the levied investigation between the student residence and the university.