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


The recommendation was announced Wednesday by a faculty committee that was created in March to examine the school's rules surrounding single-gender clubs and suggest improvements, reported The Associated Press.

Harvard hasn't recognized the groups for decades.

Perhaps the most compelling argument from the report included a letter from a student who had once been in a final club and witnessed the stultifying effect of such membership personally.

The university said the clubs foster a party culture that is discriminatory and can lead to sexual assault. And single-gender sororities and fraternities, on a national level, have seen their share of scandal lately, with the most severe cases involving student deaths.

The report, however, stated that all students that are now enrolled, including those who would matriculate this fall, will be exempt from the new policy during their entire time at the university.

"In order to move beyond the gendered and exclusive club system that has persisted - and even expanded - over time, a new paradigm is needed, one that is rooted in an appreciation of diversity, commitment to inclusivity, and positive contributions to the social experience for all students", the committee said in its recommendations.

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Eventually, the committee intends to present its recommendations to Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith, and then to University President Drew G. Faust. "Our open rush process and need-blind financial aid programs are cornerstones of who we are, and we take great pride in recruiting and accepting members of all races, creeds, religions, sexual orientations, nationalities, and socio-economic backgrounds".

The idea would be to eliminate the groups by punishing students who participate.

In the paper titled Report Of The Committee On The Unrecognized Single-Gender Social Organizations, Harvard faculty stated the main goal of their recommendation was "ending the gender segregation and discrimination of these organizations in a manner that is consistent with our educational mission, non-discrimination principles, and applicable law".

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 committee's deliberations were carried out under the shadow of tragic events relating to hazing and excessive drinking at other campuses across America", the group wrote.

In addition to the broadening of the previous sanctions, the committee also recommended revisions to a number of controversial stipulations of the current policy.