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After a fraternity initiation event at Yale last month sparked public protest from women's groups on campus and across New England, the university has created a new task force to review sexual misconduct policies.

Pledges to the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity were seen chanting, "No means yes, yes means anal," the Yale Daily News first reported Oct. 14.

"The verses treat sexual violence as a joke," wrote the Yale Women's Center in an Oct. 15 statement calling for a change in Yale's sexual culture.

Within the next two weeks, Yale College Dean Mary Miller had asked the fraternity's national board to put the Yale chapter on probation. The task force was created soon after, and its male and female faculty members from several departments plan to look for ways to increase sexual harassment education and prevention, according to a Nov. 12 article in the Yale Daily News.

The fraternity incident follows another allegation of sexual assault at Yale last year, when a senior athlete was reprimanded for creating a "Preseason Scouting Report" ranking the attractiveness of 53 first-year women, the Yale Daily News reported on Sept. 3, 2009. Almost three years ago, another Yale fraternity sparked controversy after pledges photographed themselves holding signs reading "We Love Yale Sluts" in front of the Women's Center as part of an initiation scavenger hunt, the Yale Daily News reported Jan. 22, 2008.

Universities dropping graduate programs

The University of Iowa may cut up to 12 graduate programs this year, the Associated Press reported on Nov. 10, making it one of many universities to drop graduate programs in order to increase efficiencies.

Iowa already eliminated six graduate programs in October, and it may cut as many as six more, according to the article. Some of the programs overlapped or failed to attract enough students.

The State University of New York at Albany announced in October that it was ending its programs in French, Italian, Russian and classics, affecting undergraduates through doctoral students, Inside Higher Ed reported on Oct. 4. According to the article, the cuts were part of an effort to balance the university's very strained budget.

Christian university in Tenn. won't recognize gay group

Belmont University, a Christian school in Tennessee, has refused to recognize a support group for gay and lesbian students, WTVF-TV reported on Nov. 10.

"B. Bridge Builders will strive to foster the discussion and examination of the Christian faith and LGBT-related issues, both as an intersection and a divide, through respectful means and diverse cultural, social and faith-based perspectives," the group wrote on its Facebook page.

Instead of approving the group, the university has created a semimonthly group to discuss queer issues, Belmont representatives wrote in a statement.


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