Foreign service fraternity chapters demand national leader resign amid sexism claims

Amid allegations of sexism, members of GW’s chapters of the Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Fraternity are calling on a national leader to resign.

Members of the organization nationwide have launched an ongoing social media campaign calling for Terrence Boyle, the national general secretary of the fraternity, to step down. Female members of the organization – which has two chapters at GW, a sorority and a fraternity – claim Boyle mandated that women perform house chores to gain entry to an annual Christmas party at the organization’s Georgetown University chapter house, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported Monday.

Three current or former members of GW’s DPE sorority chapter are quoted by The Chronicle alleging that they were required to sign up for a bartending or cleaning shift at the Georgetown house to attend or bring dates from outside of the organization to the party. One woman claims she swept floors and made deviled eggs for two hours, while another said she cleaned dishes and put dirty socks into a washing machine.

None of the men were required to perform the same tasks, the women told The Chronicle. Boyle, who has long been known for sexism and xenophobia within the organization, repeatedly organized the event, the members said.

In emails to The Chronicle, Boyle denied wrongdoing and said that any member, male or female, who wanted to attend the Christmas party had the choice of paying $50 or doing housework for an hour. He claimed the housework did not include sweeping floors, cleaning bedrooms or washing socks.

Nadia Creve Coeur, the president of GW’s DPE sorority chapter, said that before she took charge of the organization, the sorority’s former president decided that their chapter wouldn’t attend the Christmas party last year after members were notified about Boyle’s behavior toward women.

“People used to say ‘oh Terry, he’s the worst’ with no explanation to why he’s the worst,” Creve Coeur said. “We just want him out – I want nothing to do with this man.”

Calls for Boyle to resign ramped up June 30 when he posted in an unofficial DPE Facebook group that the organization should be “a fraternity. All men. Not some kind of frasorority.” He also used the social media page to oppose a slate of candidates for the organization’s national board, who he said “are set on a platform for installing chapters outside the U.S. and set not only on allowing women to be initiated into DPE Fraternity but in allowing them to have seats on its national board and votes at its conventions,” according to The Chronicle.

GW’s sorority chapter posted a public statement Monday condemning Boyle’s alleged track record of “sexism, xenophobia, transphobia and misogyny.” The sorority will discuss “our options and our path forward as a sorority” when the chapter’s meetings resume at the start of the 2018-19 academic year, the post states.

“The Eta chapter sorority has historically avoided interactions with Mr. Boyle, as he does not reflect many of our values,” the statement reads. “However, we have continued to maintain a professional relationship with him because previous presidents feared repercussions if they did not.”

Creve Coeur added that calls for Boyle to step down have circulated for the past two years, but members have only recently turned to social media platforms like Facebook to call for his resignation. In years past, Creve Coeur said members’ efforts to push Boyle out were ineffective because transition between chapter leaders hindered progress.

Andrew Lama, the president of GW’s DPE fraternity chapter, said the fraternity is run by “a homogenous board that only empowers Terry,” The Chronicle reported.

“Terrence Boyle and the entire Board of Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Fraternity must resign,” Lama said in a Facebook post Tuesday. “Media reporting and the public pressure campaign will continue until they step down.”

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