Trial Begins Tuesday In Middletown In Wesleyan Fraternity House Closure

Testimony will begin Tuesday morning in a Superior Court trial over Wesleyan University's closure of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity house in 2015.

Wesleyan revoked DKE's program housing status after it said the fraternity did not adequately respond to a mandate for Greek organizations to allow women to live in the fraternity houses. The fraternity's alumni chapter, the Kent Literary Club, owns the house on High Street and sued to seek reinstatement. The Wesleyan DKE chapter has now been unable to live in the fraternity house for two years.

Judge Edward S. Domnarski will preside over the case, and jury selection concluded last week. Top Wesleyan officials including President Michael Roth are expected to testify during the trial.

When it sued, DKE alleged discrimination, misrepresentation and deceptive practices. Representatives said they believe Wesleyan was singling DKE out among other organizations, and that the school wants to acquire the fraternity houses on High Street as university property.

Wesleyan and DKE disagree primarily over whether or not the fraternity was making progress to comply with the school's mandate to co-educate.

DKE said it submitted a detailed plan that met the requirements and identified specific beds to be set aside for female residents of the house, but Wesleyan said the fraternity spent more time delaying action than responding to the request and never made satisfactory progress.

Wesleyan instituted the co-education policy in 2014. Requring fraternities to admit women was a step to make the campus more safe and inclusive for students, administrators said at the time.

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