Harvard Might Go Nuclear, Ban Membership in Social Groups Altogether
Harvard Might Go Nuclear, Ban Membership in Social Groups Altogether
Josh Reynolds Boston Globe File A faculty committee at Harvard University has recommended forbidding students from joining final clubs
15 July, 2017, 02:04
Whether you follow the work of my organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) or not, you may be aware of the ongoing dispute over Harvard University's single-gender social organizations (e.g., the "Final Clubs"), which the university has been trying to drive to extinction through increasingly unsubtle means.
"We view it as the logical next step to go to Yale", McGrew said, "because all of these organizations fall under the purview of Yale legally, either because they are registered as Yale organizations or it is literally all Yale students that constitute them".
"All now enrolled students including those who will matriculate this fall will be exempt from the new policy for the entirety of their time at Harvard", says the 22-page report.
According to the Crimson, the school's student newspaper, a committee of faculty and staff members has recommended that the college take measures to forbid students from joining exclusive social organizations-including single gender fraternities, sororities, and final clubs, along with any "exclusionary social organizations that are exclusively or predominantly made up of Harvard students". Those who do join any such organization will face "disciplinary action" from the administrative board.
A final policy will be decided in the fall.
The committee hopes to address "the pernicious influence of these organizations" on campus life, for those who are both in or not connected to these groups. The local chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon said in a statement, "Our chapter, like many other Greek organizations, is proud to foster an environment where people of different backgrounds, opinions, and identities may come together in authentic ways".
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The proposal seeks to eliminate such groups by punishing students who participate in them.
The rule also emphasizes punishments for students in such organizations.
The proposal goes beyond an earlier rule that was announced past year barring members of single-gender groups from serving as sports captains or leaders of other campus groups. It is unclear at the moment whether the Harvard administration will accept the recommendations as they are. The Harvard proposal is based on longstanding fraternity bans at Williams College in MA and Bowdoin College in Maine.
Pennsylvania State University tightened its rules after 19-year-old student Tim Piazza died in February from injuries he suffered during a fraternity pledge night.
But, in its report, the Harvard committee argues that discrimination based on "gender, race, class, and sexual orientation" is a feature, not a bug, of the types of groups it names.
The committee says a ban could prevent hazing and alcohol-related tragedies similar to those seen at other colleges recently.
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