Frats, sororities spanked for failing to meet university’s ‘deepest values’
FDR was in a frat at Harvard. Bill Clinton and JFK were honorary brothers there (perhaps because they lived real-life frat brother lives).
The traditionally all-male and all-female groups now will most likely become coed.
But now the fraternities and sororities of Harvard might not be so enticing. The college has caved to mounting pressure to regulate its undergraduate students’ unofficial single-gender groups by announcing that members of these clubs will not qualify for leadership positions on campus.
University President Drew G. Faust said members of these organizations would not receive the university’s endorsements for prestigious postgraduate scholarships, such as the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships, because the groups fail to meet Harvard’s “deepest values.”
Faust said in an email that these policy changes were enacted as a response to recommendations made by the dean of the college, Rakesh Khurana, in April to support the university’s sexual assault prevention policies.
“Although the fraternities, sororities, and final clubs are not formally recognized by the College, they play an unmistakable and growing role in student life, in many cases enacting forms of privilege and exclusion at odds with our deepest values,” Faust wrote in an email.
But by punishing members of single-gender organizations, Harvard is showing its willingness to use any methods possible to stamp out all groups that fail to meet with the university’s politically correct values.
“[The] unrecognized single-gender social organizations have lagged behind in ways that are untenable in the 21st century,” Khurana said, adding that the “discriminatory membership policies” of these groups helped to foster an environment with an increased risk for sexual misconduct.
“Either don’t allow simultaneous membership in Final Clubs and College enrollment, or allow Clubs to transition to all-gender inclusion with equal gender membership and leadership,” a March report from Harvard’s Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Assault concluded, according to The Harvard Crimson.
These traditionally all-male and all-female groups will now most likely become coed unless they are forced to fold. After months of mounting pressure, two all-male clubs — the Spee and Fox clubs — already chose to admit women to their ranks last fall.
These new policies would affect six all-male final clubs, five women’s final clubs, and nine sororities and fraternities, according to The New York Times. Roughly 30 percent of Harvard’s undergraduate students belong to these clubs, and the university’s recent actions have led some to wonder if implementing these new policies merely reflects the university’s fight to discriminate against values and viewpoints with which it disagrees.
“We value what we’ve created over time and the opportunity that it offers for undergrads to develop as undergrads and, over the course of their lives, as people. And we won’t abandon it,” Richard T. Porteus, a 1978 Harvard graduate and former president of the university’s Fly Club, told the New York Times. He added that he would use “whatever legal, moral, ethical means” he has to “[stick] up for our principles.”