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TKE responds to allegations

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Dear Editor,

Earlier this week a list of complaints about TKE initiation were brought to the attention of the men of Tau Kappa Epsilon, the administration and The Pioneer. The specific allegations are largely unfounded and falsified. However, we acknowledge that the individual making these claims had a negative experience during the limited time he participated in initiation. In no way do we expect or intend that our initiation would be personally offensive to anyone who chooses to participate; because of this we sincerely apologize to him for any anxiety that we may have caused.

Our goal with initiation is to reinforce to each initiate that they can look to each other and those that have gone before them for companionship and support. The trust and core stability that is built during our initiation process makes our house stronger and facilitates our ability to undertake projects that benefit the broader community. The men of TKE have always contributed to the well-being of the Whitman community as a result. We uphold the fact that Greek life is a personal choice; the freedom to leave during initiation is made clear to all who choose to participate and their decision is always respected.

TKE strives to be in conformity with Whitman’s policies. The initiation process is reviewed annually to ensure that this is the case. We are cooperating completely with the administration to ensure both that our process remains effective at continuing to educate and develop young men of good character and quality, and that it is always in full compliance with Whitman’s policies. Our hope is that we can move forward as an organization while continuing our success as a chapter and our positive influence on the Whitman Greek system and the broader Whitman community.

Sincerely,
David DeVine, TKE President, and the men of Tau Kappa Epsilon

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7 Responses to “TKE responds to allegations”

  1. Allegations of hazing leveled against TKE initiation practices | Daniel Bachhuber's weblog on March 3rd, 2011 8:25 am

    […] leveled against TKE initiation practices. In other words, why I left Whitman four years ago. TKE non-response. This entry was posted in Asides and tagged Greek system, hazing, TKE, Whitman College. Bookmark […]

  2. Well Said on March 3rd, 2011 4:38 pm

    I think David Devine and the TKE’s should be commended for how they have handled this. It would have been easy to attack Hart’s character for choosing to come forward with these allegations, but instead they have responded firmly but fairly.

    Devine notes that many of these allegations are unfounded and false, but respects the individuals decision to leave the process and acknowledges responsibility for any discomfort that was caused.

    I hope the Whitman community will continue to put their faith and trust in their friends in the Greek system to do the right thing for members and the college. Let’s not let the questionable or exaggerated accusations of one individual disparage the character of many.

  3. agree with most, but... on March 4th, 2011 2:23 am

    @Well Said:
    “Let’s not let the questionable or exaggerated accusations of one individual disparage the character of many.”

    These “accusations” are not of just one individual, but two. One student, if you read the story, left campus, mostly due to TKE initiation.

    Devine says, “The specific allegations are largely unfounded and falsified.”

    What authority “falsified” these claims? And what does “largely unfounded” even mean?

    I do agree to the point that this should not be “indies vs Greeks.” We are all Whitman students and we need to use this constructively, NOT destructively.

  4. Gabriela Salvidea on March 4th, 2011 4:56 pm

    Does anyone else find this official response—which apologizes for causing Hart to feel “anxiety”—patronizing and disingenuous? As “agree with most” points out, the response is also filled with nonsense equivocation—this is forgivable, and expected, but the former is inexcusable.

    The suggestion, by naming the problem “anxiety,” seems to be that the problem here isn’t institutional, or even cultural, it’s personal: Hart just doesn’t have the “character” or “quality” to make the cut. These sentiments are expressed more overtly in the comments posted to the original article, but they are no less present here.

    To those who are suggesting that we turn to this piece, and not the anonymous comments, for the “real” TKA stance, I say this: There is no “real” TKE stance. TKE, as some sort of unified entity, is an abstraction. The only meaningful way for a so-called institution to speak for itself is through its constituent members. As such, there is nothing MORE representative of meaningful TKE sentiment than the comments posted by them under the protection of anonymity.

    I’m not suggesting those commentators speak for all TKEs, or all Greek members; but I also think it’s wrongheaded to suggest that their comments are somehow irrelevant because they don’t come stamped with a bureaucratic seal of approval from an appointed mouthpiece. Even the most awful and thoughtless of those comments SAY a whole lot more than this piece, which by serving political ends, says nothing at all.

    Beyond that, let’s all keep in mind that “constructive” and “nice” aren’t synonymous, and that construction sometimes requires destruction (especially when such construction is progressive).

  5. @ Gabriella on March 5th, 2011 2:55 pm

    You just legitimized destruction in the name of construction, thus, you just legitimized any and all forms of hazing. Great Job!

  6. TKE responds to allegations « fraternaltruth on March 9th, 2011 5:57 am

    […] the Letter to the Editor here. Bad Stuff, Fraternity, Hazing, News, NIC ← Allegations of hazing leveled against TKE […]

  7. Hank Nuwer: Hazing Prevention » Blog Archive » Was Washington State TKE Chapter’s Two-Year Punishment Justified? on April 30th, 2011 4:31 pm

    […] Former Pledge Dan Hart thinks a four-year timeout was called for. […]

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TKE responds to allegations