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Task Force Recommends Harvard Expel Members of All-Male Clubs

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By    |   Thursday, 10 Mar 2016 04:48 PM

A Harvard University task force that looked into preventing sexual assaults on students has recommended the school expel students who are members of all-male final clubs.

The report, released earlier this week, attempts to tie activities at the all-male clubs to the sexual assault problem at Harvard, but members and alumni of the groups say they are being scapegoated because the task force couldn't find any other solution.

They tell The Washington Free Beacon that most of the sexual assaults occur on-campus, while their clubs all are located off campus.

The task force recommends the clubs be forced to have an equal number of male and female members with equal representation among the sexes in leadership. Any student who remains a member of an all-male club should be expelled from the school, the task force recommends.

Harvard has six all-male final clubs, five all-female clubs and two co-ed clubs.

The all-male clubs foster a culture of sexual assault, the task force says, pointing to data that 47 percent of seniors who said they were members of or participated in final clubs reported have nonconsensual sexual contact.

But alumni of the clubs told the Free Beacon it was misleading to infer that female students who interacted with the all-male clubs were likely to be assaulted.

"This is now the second time we have seen the university mislead the public on data," one graduate of one of the clubs told the Free Beacon. "For an institution devoted to rigorous academic standards, this is absolutely unacceptable. This administration is determined to never let the facts get in the way of a good story. It is hell-bent on diverting attention from the simple truth: that it has a major problem of sexual assaults on its own property, a problem for which it has no ideas on how to stop."

The task force included data that 16 percent of sexual assaults on the school's property happened in spaces used by single-sex organizations, but the final clubs are off-campus. And 87 0ercent of sexual assaults happened in school dorms.

Though it targets final clubs, the task force acknowledges they may not be the main cause of sexual assault at Harvard.

"We are not suggesting that the problem of sexual assault at Harvard is solely or even principally a byproduct of the activities and influence of final clubs," the report reads. "The behavioral and cultural problems run deep and implicate a range of institutional structures and behavioral choices that extend well beyond the clubs. We also recognize that the survey data are not particularized, the information from the outreach was likewise often general in nature, that collectively they do not offer insight into potential variations among the clubs, and that they do not permit us to untangle complex questions of causation."

On final club already has agreed to allow female members, and reported that it feared if it did not its members would face expulsion.

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A Harvard University task force that looked into preventing sexual assaults on students has recommended the school expel students who are members of all-male final clubs.
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Thursday, 10 Mar 2016 04:48 PM
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