Brett Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford, who claims he attempted to rape her in the 1980s while they were both in school. Over the course of the last week, the questions swirling around the allegation have grown in size and scope, with many looking to understand more about Kavanaugh’s adolescent and college years.
Kavanaugh has continued to maintain his innocence and will appear before the Senate on Monday to testify and answer questions about the allegation.
On August 30, many of Kavanaugh’s female college classmates from Yale wrote a letter testifying to his respect for women. However, two Yale students have recently pointed out in an article for the Yale Daily News that Kavanaugh was a member of the Yale fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon during his undergraduate years.
DKE was “an organization known for disrespecting women,” according to staff reporters Hailey Fuchs and Britton O’Daly. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Kavanaugh Was a Member of DKE Starting in 1986
According to The Yale Daily News, Kavanaugh joined DKE in his freshman year of college at Yale in 1986, and stayed involved in his fraternity through his years at Yale Law School. According to the staff reporters, DKE had a reputation for misogyny, with some alums from Kavanaughs years calling the fraternity “similar to Animal house.”
Kavanaugh has said little of his time spent with the DKE fraternity, which boasts the membership of more presidents than any other fraternal order.
However, The Yale Daily News does recall a speech Kavanaugh gave to the Yale Federalist Society about his years in YLS, telling a story where he “fell out of a bus” at four in the morning after a night of drinking in Boston. It’s unclear whether that story had anything to do directly with DKE.
2. DKE Was Banned From Yale for Five Years in 2011 After Leading Chants of ‘No Means Yes, Yes Means Anal’ on Grounds
DKE was the fraternity that was banned from Yale after members of the fraternity famously led chants with pledges that were offensive to women, including “No means yes, yes means anal,” directly in front of the University’s Women Center.
According to The New York Times, Dr. Mary Miller, the dean of Yale College, wrote in a letter, “After a full hearing, the committee found that the D.K.E. chapter, as an organization, one comprised of Yale students, had threatened and intimidated others, in violation of the Undergraduate Regulations of Yale College as they pertain to ‘harassment, coercion or intimidation’ and ‘imperiling the integrity and values of the university community.'”
3. Earlier This Spring, Yale Launched an Investigation Into DKE’s ‘Sexual Climate’ After Receiving Sexual Assault Allegations Against Several Members
Following its reinstatement onto grounds after its five-year suspension, DKE was slammed with multiple sexual assault allegations against the fraternity’s president, Luke Persichetti, and another DKE member who resigned last January.
The story was corroborated with accounts by eight women of sexual misconduct, as well as interviews with over 30 Yale sorority members, first-year counselors, and Communication and Consent educators.
According to the Yale Daily News, all eight accounts by the women who came forward were corroborated with text messages, firsthand witnesses or friends who confirmed being told about the incident at a later date.
4. As Part of Pledge Week in the 1980s, DKE Pledges Were Required to Walk Around With a Flag Made of Women’s Undergarments
As part of initiation, DKE pledges were reportedly required to retrieve women’s undergarments, which were later used as a flag that they would have to march around campus. There conflicting reports over whether women gave their undergarments consensually or whether pledges stole them from rooms.
Steve Gallo ’88 told The Yale Daily News, “Pledges might ask for help from women they knew — or maybe the guy who sent them knew — to complete an item on the list. I am almost certain that is where any women’s undergarments would have come from … women people knew donating them willingly to play along.”
But another female alum from the same time period reportedly said in a Facebook post that men would ransack women’s rooms for the undergarments.
5. Kavanaugh Was Also a Member of the Secret Society ‘Truth & Courage’, Which Was Known as ‘Tit & Clit’
In addition to being a member of DKE, Kavanaugh was also reportedly a member of ‘Truth & Courage,’ one of Yale’s secret societies that ceased to exist in the early 2010s.
The Yale Daily News reported that Truth & Courage was an all-male club that was popular with athletes, and was known by the nickname ‘Tit & Clit.’
Sources have told BuzzFeed News that Truth & Courage was “basically a fraternity extension,” and that “it was organized around having sex with coeds.”
One Yale alum told BuzzFeed News, “It was nothing like Scroll and Key, nothing like Wolf’s Head. They just drank a ton. They got drunk. All I remember is them drinking.”