Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh University investigates rape threats by 'fraternity'

Edinburgh University Image copyright Google
Image caption Edinburgh University said it was treating the matter "very seriously"

Edinburgh University has launched an investigation into threats of rape made by members of an American-style "fraternity" organisation.

It follows minutes leaked to student newspaper, The Student from a meeting of the The Delta Kappa Epsilon society.

The minutes reveal discussions of rape, sexual harassment and transphobia against the university's feminist society.

Police have been informed of the comments.

Minutes documented over a series of meetings show comments made about raping members of the university's feminist society, and going on a "raping trip".

The feminist society said it condemned "in the strongest terms the abhorrent misogynistic and transphobic behaviour and statements" made by the fraternity.

Senior staff member

An Edinburgh University spokeswoman said: "We are treating this matter extremely seriously.

"The university is committed to promoting a positive culture for working and studying, in which all members of the university's community treat each other with dignity and respect.

"Accordingly, a senior member of staff has been appointed to investigate the allegations further."

The Delta Kappa Epsilon society claims to be one of the oldest fraternities in America and boasts the former president George W Bush as one of its past members.

Eve Livingston, the Edinburgh University Student Association vice-president, said: "We are shocked and appalled by the contents of the leaked minutes and our priority is absolutely the welfare and safety of our students.

"As of this morning, I have raised the issue with the university secretary as a breach of the code of student conduct and a potential criminal offence, and I await an official response from the university.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "We have been aware of the group and we are talking to the university but no formal investigation has been launched."

A former member of the The Delta Kappa Epsilon society, who was at a meeting where raping was mentioned, said: "It was pretty divisive, it was a split room, some people laughed and others said well if it's a joke, it's not really a joke."

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