This effort was organized by eight women friends who graduated from Yale between 1999 and 2002. When we heard about the DKE incident, we shared our sadness, frustration, and anger that such appalling acts had occurred on Yale’s campus.
We wrote to university leadership to urge a formal response to the DKE chants, as none was made right away. We were dismayed to see that Dean Mary Miller’s reply to the community focused on an upcoming student dialogue, rather than on action or condemnation from the administration. We were baffled that the Yale Women’s Center, a student organization, was being left to lead the on campus response. We were perplexed as to why DKE was apologizing to the Women’s Center, rather than to the entire Yale community. We were alarmed to read the Yale Daily News editorial attacking female students who had spoken out against DKE’s actions.
We decided to publish a letter in the Yale Daily News expressing our condemnation of DKE and our support for the students impacted, and calling for greater university response, not only to the DKE incident, but to multiple incidents dehumanizing women students. We invited others in our personal networks to join in signing our letter.
Within a few days, more than 2000 Yale community members – alumni, parents, staff, and faculty – had added their voices. It became clear that a large community is outraged by the violations of safety and respect on campus, and by the administration’s continued tolerance of unacceptable speech toward and about women.
We hope that the more than 2000 people who took the time to share their voices have shown the Yale administration that they must address the campus climate around sexuality and take broad action to create a just and safe environment for all students.