For decades, Wesleyan University has been a favorite destination for Staples grads.
From pushing for the establishment of a black student union in the 1960s, to advocating for need-blind admissions in the ’90s and gender-neutral housing a few years later, “Wes” students have been in the forefront of many progressive issues.
These days, the hot-button issue is fraternities. Several months ago — responding to allegations of sexual assaults in fraternity houses — administrators ordered 2 on-campus fraternities to admit women as members and residents. Delta Kappa Epsilon’s plan — allowing women to live in the house, but not as members — was rejected by the university. Now DKE is suing.
Scott Karsten — Staples ’70, Wesleyan ’74, and a member of the chapter’s alumni group which has owned the frat house since 1888 — is the public face of that lawsuit.
According to the Hartford Courant, Karsten said that DKE has evolved in recent years. He noted that although there were previous problems with the house, it was not part of the allegations of sexual assault at 2 other Wesleyan fraternities.
“They are being scapegoated because they choose to live with the folks they choose to live with, unlike everyone else at Wesleyan who gets to choose who they live with.”
The complaint against Wesleyan — filed at Superior Court in Middletown — notes that the university offers many residence houses, based on characteristics such as “gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and other protected class characteristics.”
Karsten added, “discrimination is abhorrent in whatever form it may exist. President (Michael) Roth’s pursuit of selective discrimination is an egregious example of political correctness gone wrong, and does a disservice to the high ideals upon which Wesleyan was founded.”
Karsten was a noted wrestler at Staples and Wesleyan. According to the website of Karsten & Tallberg, he graduated 3rd in his class at the University of Connecticut School of Law. Before that he served as a police officer, and was president of the West Hartford police union.
A court date has been set for March 9.