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Harvard Faculty Task Force: Ban All Frats, Sororities by 2022

Image: Harvard Faculty Task Force: Ban All Frats, Sororities by 2022
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By    |   Thursday, 13 Jul 2017 12:05 PM

A faculty task force at Harvard University has recommended the Ivy League school ban all fraternities, sororities and historic social clubs from campus in a bid to end the discriminatory culture it says they promote.

In a 22-page report to Harvard administrators, the committee urged that non-nonsense language be added to the university's bylaws, stating:

"Harvard students may neither join nor participate in final clubs, fraternities or sororities, or other similar private, exclusionary social organizations that are exclusively or predominantly made up of Harvard students, whether they have any local or national affiliation, during their time in the College.

"The College will take disciplinary action against students who are found to be participating in such organizations. Violations will be adjudicated by the Administrative Board."

The recommendation, reported by The Harvard Crimson student newspaper, comes after last year's directive by Harvard President Drew Faust barring members of single-gender social organizations from holding certain leadership positions on campus.

That came amid concerns the policies of some clubs led to problems with sexual assault and alcohol abuse.

But the faculty task force said in its review that Faust's order did not go far enough.

"Our main reservation about the stated goal of the policy was whether the focus on ending gender segregation and discrimination is too narrow," the report reads.

"If all of these organizations adopted gender-neutral membership in a timely fashion, there would remain a myriad of practices of these organizations that go against the educational mission and principles espoused by Harvard University."

Among the well-known clubs and societies at Harvard are the 226-year-old Porcellian Club, The Oak Club, The Fox Club, the Sablière Society and the Seneca.

The report asks Harvard to review recognized independent student organizations "with the view to assessing the current training, resources, and procedures and to ensuring … [they] follow best practices and demonstrate their robust compliance with the College's shared values."

It adds: "All currently enrolled students including those who will matriculate this fall will be exempt from the new policy for the entirety of their time at Harvard. This will lead to a transition period, whereby USGSOs would be phased out by May 2022."

The faculty group said by doing so, the university would follow other universities that have banned such groups all together, such as Williams College and Bowdoin College.

The Sigma Alpha Epsilon Massachusetts Gamma Chapter blasted the recommendation on its Facebook page late Wednesday.

"We are disappointed to see that this committee has chosen to dismiss the concerns of so many Harvard College students who have benefited from being members of a social organization, and once again overlooked the positive impacts that Greek life can make in the lives of students," the group said.

"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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A faculty task force at Harvard University has recommended the Ivy League school ban all fraternities, sororities and historic social clubs from campus in a bid to end the discriminatory culture it says they promote.
harvard university, faculty, task force, ban, fraternities, sororities
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2017-05-13
Thursday, 13 Jul 2017 12:05 PM
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