An investigation led by the administration at Yale University found no evidence of racism at an SAE Halloween party that made news in early November.
Allegations made last month claimed the fraternity turned away people of color from its Halloween party, telling them it was for “white girls only.” The investigation found no evidence of that, but did say that SAE had created a “chaotic environment” for students (nice).
Here is an excerpt from a letter Dean Jonathan Holloway sent to the Yale community on Wednesday (emphasis mine):
A partial picture of what happened has emerged from these accounts. On the one hand, the investigation found no evidence of systematic discrimination against people of color. Students inside the party reported that early in the evening, before the party became crowded, guests were granted admission on a first-come basis; men and women of color were among those admitted. On the other hand, students also reported that as the event became intensely crowded, hosts restricted admission, applying subjective criteria and using harsh language. When the investigation focused on what hosts had said specifically, two students provided credible accounts that they were told, or heard either one or two SAE members say, “white girls only” as they were seeking admission to the party, although the SAE members interviewed denied making these statements and nobody else who was interviewed heard the statements.
The investigation did find, however, that SAE created a chaotic environment, and that members at times behaved disrespectfully and aggressively toward students seeking admission. The investigation also found that SAE managed the event poorly, with little regard to crowd control and overcrowding inside the house. More generally, it found that SAE’s behavior fell short of the community standards and the kind of civic engagement that I have sought to promote, and it is particularly problematic in light of the sanctions already in place against the fraternity. Strictly speaking, SAE did not violate the terms of those sanctions, which banned the fraternity from hosting activities on campus, drawing on university resources, and using the SAE name in connection with Yale University for two years, but I am extremely disappointed that the chapter has given me cause to write to the community a second time.
So after a month of chasing down claims that SAE members did not admit people into its party because of race, and claims that members of the fraternity spat on people, the investigation could not verify any of these allegations. Not that the court of public opinion cares, as it determined the fraternity was guilty weeks ago. Is that at all a surprise? Of course not.
As a result of this investigation, the dean said the university will not sanction SAE — good news for the fraternity, although I’m sure some people will be up and arms over it and protesting in no time..
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