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DKE Alumni Show Support of Fraternity’s Return to Campus

By Carson McKinney
Hottytoddy.com intern

Delta Kappa Epsilon is in the process of formally rejoining Ole Miss Greek life thanks to undergraduate and alumni support.

Delta Kappa Epsilon, also known as DKE or Deke, is one of the oldest fraternities in Mississippi and was the first fraternity to have a house on the University of Mississippi’s campus.

Founded at Ole Miss in 1850, the fraternity has not had an active chapter at UM since its removal in 2010.

DKE at Ole Miss currently exists as a colony awaiting official approval from the national headquarters to become a recognized chapter.

Local financial advising and insurance firm owner Brian Hayden was the DKE chapter president during his junior year at Ole Miss and graduated in 2007. When local undergraduates, including current DKE colony president Levi Sumrall and DKE president-elect for 2019-2020 Jacob Debouck, reached out to DKE’s national organization board to re-establish at Ole Miss, Hayden and other local alumni were asked by the board to “assist in guiding the new group and help start them on the right track while instilling the same principles we were taught.”

Hayden says DKE will not be housed on campus for the time being, as the DKE house on campus is currently occupied by Pi Kappa Phi, so social activities and meetings will be held off campus.

DKE’s original house on campus is now occupied by Pi Kappa Phi. Photo by Carson McKinney.

While he and the other alumni guided prospective DKE members in crafting ground rules and budget guidelines, Hayden said he credits the undergraduate leaders themselves for the group’s accomplishments.

“I would not say I’ve had any direct responsibility for them reforming the colony and chapter and instead give all the credit to the group of undergrads who have organized as a collective effort to prove to the university and national organization of their intent to overcome past incidents or misconduct by previous groups,” Hayden said.

According to Ole Miss alumni and Louisiana-based private client associate Jaron Miller, who served as DKE vice president from 2008-2009 and president from 2009-2010, the University Judicial Council suspended DKE in 2007 for holding an unregistered party at the fraternity house and supplying alcohol to minors at the party.

DKE was also investigated for an alleged racial incident which Miller says was never proven to have occurred.

Miller clarifies The Judicial Council removed DKE from campus in 2010 for a hazing incident which resulted in their second strike under Ole Miss’s then-held two-strike policy, and as punishment, DKE was barred from petitioning to return to campus for four years.

Miller says he does not make any excuses for DKE not following university rules in the past and wants the new DKE colony to grow into a successful chapter.

“None of this is a result of anything they’ve done prior, and they’re obviously wanting to start with a very clean slate and off on the right foot,” Miller said. “For the new members who are going to be taking it over, I wish them nothing but the best. They want to make the chapter as a whole proud. Not just for Ole Miss alumni, but for national as well.”


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