After being criticized by some of their faculty members, students, and alumni for their exclusive and single-gender social club ban, Harvard University’s committee responsible for it backpedaled on the policy. Instead, they offered different options to address the issues and the effects of having unlisted single-gender social clubs on the campus.
Last Friday, the committee published a final report regarding the ban and stated that they haven’t reached an agreement on a single path forward. In the same report, they also released an edited version of the policy. Instead of just banning all off-campus exclusive and single-gender clubs, the group now offers three different options to deal with the issue. First is to maintain penalties for any students participating in single-gender clubs such as fraternities and sororities. Second is to ban unlisted or unrecognized single-gender social groups in the campus. And third, consider other possible solutions.
The committee said in their report that the college administration must recognize the harmful effects of having unrecognized single-gender social groups in the university. However, they also admitted that they haven’t reached a consensus yet on what terms they will implement. And that prompted them to produce three new options that the administration can use to deal with the problem. The committee suggested that Harvard should maintain its policy of preventing or blocking any sort of memberships to single-gender groups. They also proposed a different approach to the problem, and that is by contacting incoming students and their parents to tell them the dangers that being a member of social clubs can bring.
The issue started last 2016 when Harvard’s President, Dr. Drew Faust, said that all members of Greek organizations and final clubs will be prohibited from obtaining leadership in other groups of the university. Aside from that, members of single-gender clubs will also be ineligible for a dean’s recommendation when applying for prestigious scholarships. The proposal on the other hand first came to light last July after reports of alcohol abuse and sexual assaults in the campus bombarded the administration.