The campus newspaper posted a photo of smiling “initiates” of Kavanaugh’s frat, Delta Kappa Epsilon, waving a “flag” created with several pieces of women’s underwear as they marched outside Yale’s central administrative building on Jan. 18, 1985.
Kavanaugh, who does not appear in the photo, was a sophomore at the time and already a member of the frat, according to the paper.
A student at the time, Rachel Eisler, complained in a letter to the Yale Daily News three days after the procession that the activity “demeans women.” She said that when she confronted a student holding the flag, he quipped: “Hey, your panties might be here.”
“I was totally shocked that something like that would happen at Yale,” Eisler recalled in a recent interview with the News.
A member of the frat at that time told the newspaper the underwear was “obtained consensually.” It was probably part of a “scavenger hunt” pledges were typically sent on, with the underwear “donated willingly” by women who wanted to “play along,” he said.
But a female classmate of Kavanaugh’s complained in a post on the YaleWomen Facebook page that DKE brothers would often ransack women’s rooms while they were in class to grab their underwear. Comedian Heather Gold also recalled “pushy, creepy” and “entitled” pledges coming drunk to her room in 1987, demanding underwear.
Kavanaugh also belonged to an all-male secret senior society called Truth and Courage, which no longer exists. Some students knew the group by the nickname “Tit and Clit,” the newspaper reported.
Kavanaugh’s school days have come under increasing scrutiny in the wake of an accusation by California professor Christine Blasey Ford, professionally known as Christine Blasey, that he sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school.
Another teen Blasey said was in the room, Mark Judge, was a high school classmate of Kavanaugh’s at the all-male Georgetown Prep. In his memoir, Wasted: Tales of a GenX Drunk, Judge recalled spending his days drunk and trying to hook up with girls.
Blasey said through her attorney on Thursday that she is willing to negotiate the terms of testimony about her experience before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.
Yale banned the DKE chapter from campus for five years in 2011 after videos showed frat recruits chanting “no means yes, yes means anal” in front of the University’s Women’s Center. Yale also launched an investigation in February into sexual assault allegations against DKE members.