Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Delta Upsilon has closely followed all of the public discussion the past few weeks.
We do not question or deny anyone’s personal experience, and are moved by those that have been brought forward. We are also disturbed by some of the responses that question the authenticity of these accounts and those that diminish their significance. We apologize to all individuals who have felt their personal comfort or safety compromised in the house, or with any of our brothers, and we earnestly strive to empathize. Further, we are determined to work with the campus community at large to collaboratively develop strategies to make Delta Upsilon more safe, open, and welcoming.
We unequivocally oppose the damaging acts and problematic culture highlighted in general campus discussion and are determined to work with the campus community to improve.
We do understand there are some serious problems associated with the drinking and party culture that we as a brotherhood, and as a campus at large, participate in and perpetuate. While our efforts have not yet made as large an impact as we hope they will, we have taken steps towards counteracting this culture, and feel that as an institution we make an overall positive impact on the campus.
For example, over the past few years we have been developing new partnerships and practices:
Our pledge process begins with a detailed SMARTeam training and information session with Beth Kotarski. We encourage brothers to continue to attend these events as they occur, as happened this past Thursday.
For the last 3 semesters we have implemented a new policy, in which there are 2-5 designated brothers for each event we host who are not drinking, and whose job it is to be present to prevent and deal with potential issues. In an effort to increase their visibility, and make our space a safer one, these designated brothers will now wear brightly colored orange shirts at every event we host. Moving forward, through our ongoing relationship with Mike Hill and the Public Safety department, we will to continue to make improvements and implement practices to improve the safety of Delta Upsilon.
In addition to these weekly efforts, we have also been collaborating with SMARTeam to work to make the SAC funded parties (Halloween and Genderfuck) safer by providing a Safe Walk program, in which brothers escort home anyone who feels uncomfortable walking back alone. We also work with the SMARTeam to organize the Handprint Pledge that precedes the Clothesline Project every Spring to raise awareness of and make a stand against sexual misconduct.
In addition to our commitment to improve safety on campus, we engage multiple community service projects each and every semester both as pledges and as brothers. Recently, we have assisted the Friends Meeting House on campus in building a new playground and assisting their fundraising Jumble Sale, organized a campus-wide Crum Creek Clean-Up along with Phi Psi and the then Not Yet Sisters, successfully concluded the latest installment of our continuing partnership with Maurice Eldridge on the Red Cross Blood Drive, and have begun to organize a project with All Riders Up to help special needs community members learn to ride horses.
While we have taken steps in the past, we know that these efforts by themselves cannot solve the larger problems facing DU and the campus in general. We take the current debate as an opportunity to hold a mirror to ourselves as an institution and critically reflect on our practices and what we represent. In an effort to improve campus life for ourselves, but more importantly for the greater campus community, we are sincerely open to comments, criticisms, and suggestions for ways to make DU safer for everyone, and look forward to the discussion we will have as a community.
Delta Upsilon Fraternity