A Harvard sorority became the first student organization to disband last week in response to the university's imposed sanctions, The Washington Post reported.
Last year a faculty task force 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.
The recommendation came after Harvard President Drew Faust issued a directive barring members of single-gender social organizations from holding certain leadership positions on campus.
This was in direct response to concerns regarding the policies of some clubs, which led to problems with sexual assault and alcohol abuse.
Single-gender student groups were issued an ultimatum to either go co-ed or lose the university's endorsement for postgraduate fellowships. The National Delta Gamma organization announced that its Zeta Phi-Cambridge Area chapter has opted to instead disband completely, The Washington Post said.
A point of concern are the roles of leadership, which The Harvard Crimson noted would still remain predominantly all-male for the next several years and would ultimately place new female members at significant disadvantages.
Recently, another all-female sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, announced it would become gender-neutral and change its name to "Theta Zeta Xi" in response to pressure from the school to penalize single-gender social clubs, Fox News noted.
In a statement, the all-female club said it was acting "in good faith with Harvard's social organization and nondiscrimination policies."
Addressing the dissolution of Harvard's chapter of Delta Gamma, the group's president, Wilma Johnson Wilbanks, said the decision did not mean that they were "succumbing to the university's new sanctions and policies regarding participation in unrecognized single-gender organizations like ours," The Washington Post noted.
"We will continue to champion our right to exist on campuses everywhere. We believe the value of sorority is too great," Wilbanks said.
However, she added that they hoped to "return to the Cambridge Area should conditions for single-gender organizations improve."
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