Ole Miss’ Faculty Senate agrees with frat’s suspension

Published 11:25 pm Saturday, October 13, 2007

The University of Mississippi’s Faculty Senate has passed a resolution backing Delta Kappa Epsilon’s nine-month suspension but wants the actions that led up to the suspension reviewed, officials announced Friday.

The fraternity was suspended after Freshman Jeremiah Taylor, 18, said he was called a racial slur and was pushed down stairs while attending a Delta Kappa Epsilon party Aug. 22 on the Oxford campus.

“We are concerned about persistent patterns of social segregation by race at the University of Mississippi, particularly among student organizations,” the senate wrote in its resolution.

The senate asked that the Chancellor’s Committee on Sensitivity and Respect look into the reasons behind the behavior.

Initially the university handed down a one-year suspension Sept. 14 after a university judicial council determined the fraternity had been guilty of violating five counts of the student code of conduct. The council found the fraternity guilty of violations of harassment, assault, disorderly conduct, possession of alcohol and hosting an unauthorized party and fined it $1,000.

On Sept. 26, Chancellor Robert Khayat upheld but shortened the suspension to end June 1, 2008, rather than during the fall of 2008, after the frat filed a second appeal.

The shortened suspension will allow the group to participate in informal recruiting parties some historically white Greek organizations host next summer.

Not inducting a class this year could cost the DKEs $50,000 in local and national dues over the next four years, David Easlick Jr., executive director of the fraternity’s national office in Ann Arbor, Mich., has previously said.

He said the suspension violates the constitutional rights to gather and have free speech for the entire fraternity. He said the fraternity’s more than 65 members are being punished for a party that only 15 to 20 attended.

“At most, one or two people said something inappropriate, including the claimant,” he has said. “The penalty is way out of whack.”

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