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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student


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TKE Is Back: What Does The Campus Community Think?

Areesha Saif
A photo of a bar graph titled “Motion from the Student Experience Committee to Reinstate [Tau Kappa Epsilon]” that shows the 45/9 vote in favor.

Following the reinstatement of the Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) chapter at Knox College on Jan. 8 2024, the president of TKE, junior Dakota Robinson has apologized for the events of last year. These events include the Delusions party in Winter of 2023.

The ‘Delusions’ party involved a wall of printouts of screenshots from the Anonymous app YikYak, which included allegations of sexual assault and hazing against members of TKE. These printouts were surrounded by the poster for the party, which read ‘Delusions’.

“While many of us in the chapter at the time did raise our voices leading up to the event saying that this was a bad idea, it was all talk and no direct action and this event was able to take place. Even though many of us disagreed with the poster, we are all still guilty and were to be held accountable for it as we let these messages be put up,” Robinson said.

The Knox College Students Against Sexism in Society (SASS) condemned TKE’s actions in an Instagram post, and called for a public apology.

“After this event, there had been a change in membership as people left the chapter for both being involved with the incident; and some people had left as no action had been taken and their voices were not heard by the people planning the event. Those that remain in the chapter are not proud of those events, and the Delta Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon apologizes to the community here at Knox College; and we would like to further apologize to survivors that were most harmed by our actions and the events of last year,” Robinson said.

Some students such as senior Libby Shorkey and junior Angelica Debenedictis reported feeling disappointed about the return of the fraternity, after its suspension on May 31, 2023.

“I felt just a little bit safer and a little more at ease being on campus while TKE was suspended,” Debenedictis said.

Shorkey also made up posters to hang around campus reminding the fraternity that people on campus have not forgotten about the fraternity’s actions in the Winter of last year.

“They are not welcome. They don’t do anything good for campus or add anything. This is coming from someone who used to go to their parties, before being exposed to the way frats work, and the way they treat women and the way they operate,” Shorkey added.

The Student Experience Committee motioned to reinstate TKE, and the faculty voted 45-9 in the affirmative. Student Senate representative on the SEC, junior Agnes Azalimah, reported feeling “appalled” at the school’s handling of the TKE party, ‘Delusions’ in Winter of 2023, and the following student protest on March 6, 2023. She reported the SEC’s decision to reinstate TKE was a result of the chapter not being found “liable for any breach of rules.”

On March 6, 2023 students stormed the faculty meeting, expressing their concerns about the college’s handling of sexual assault allegations after the TKE party. After TKE’s reinstatement, concerns about the handling of sexual assault on campus resurfaced.

Azalimah also reported that members of the SEC felt that allegations on the Anonymous app YikYak could not be paid heed to and TKE had attended educational sessions such as Bringing in the Bystander, which meant they were ready to come back.

“The entire campus was convinced that they got suspended from the protest but nothing of that sort. The SEC felt that they didn’t have any basis to punish TKE,” Azalimah said.

Robinson has highlighted how the educational sessions have enabled the organization to “reeducate and reprioritize,” so it can change what went wrong last year.

“Since the events, the remaining members of the chapter have been working with the National TKE Organization and Knox College so we further understand what we did wrong, the responsibility we have as an organization, and how to best support and uplift survivors. We have been educating ourselves on both Risk Management through TKE Nationals as well as Dare to Care events such as the Bringing in the Bystander,” Robinson said. “We have developed a plan for moving forward, making sure to focus on our values, philanthropy and bettering ourselves and the campus community. We will be constantly educating both current and new members on topics such as SA Awareness, as none of us wish to cause more harm to campus,”

However, some students have also expressed concerns about whether the sanctions against the chapter such as the suspension were enough to hold them accountable, and make survivors of sexual assault on campus feel safe.

“I don’t think a few months is enough time for them to be on probation. They need at least another year for more turnaround so they don’t have the same people in it and make the same mistakes. We need a safe campus, and student orgs that protect potential abusers and mock potential victims, have no place on a safe campus,” Sophomore Phoebe Amiri said.

While skeptical about the return of the fraternity on campus, students like Senior Teagan Springer feel that TKE must demonstrate their good character to regain the trust of the campus community.

“People are capable of growth and change and I am looking forward to hopefully seeing that from the community. It was a really hard time in the Knox community and I don’t think people are fully healed yet,” Springer said.

“The chapter never intended to take an anti-survivor position with what we posted but we understand that our actions were harmful. Regrettably, what’s done is done, and all we can hope to do is take responsibility and change for the better,” Robinson said.

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About the Contributor
Areesha Saif
Areesha Saif, Staff Writer
Areesha Saif '24 (she/her) is a Political Science major at Knox. She has been working as a Staff Writer since Winter 2023. She grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, which in her very biased opinion, has the best food in the world. Awards: Honorable Mention Critical Review ICPA 2024

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    larkspurJan 29, 2024 at 7:27 pm

    tke should not be reinstated. the fact that SEC didn’t see a reason to punish them makes me wonder if their positions should be replaced. shared anger over sexual assault deniers does create a Student Experience, but not a good one.