Harvard Faculty Committee Recommends Banning Frats

  • Harvard Faculty Committee Recommends Banning Frats

Harvard Faculty Committee Recommends Banning Frats

That appendix lists social clubs with gender-neutral policies such as the Spee Club, the Oak Club, and the Seneca; female final clubs like the La Vie Club, the Bee Club, and the Pleiades Society; male final clubs like the Delphic Club, the Fox Club, and the Phoenix S.K. Club; fraternities like Alpha Epsilon Pi, Delta Kappa Epsilon, and Sigma Chi; and sororities like Alpha Phi, Delta Gamma, and Kappa Kappa Gamma.

On Wednesday, a faculty committee at Harvard University suggested "phasing out" fraternities, sororities, and other social groups on campus, with the goal of "ending the gender segregation and discrimination" of such historic college organizations.

Harvard officials have sought to crack down on final clubs for years. Some began admitting women over the years and some all-female clubs formed.

A faculty committee yesterday released a 22-page report recommending that the university forbid students entering in the class of 2022 and beyond from joining "fraternities, sororities, and similar organizations", a broad category that includes Harvard's venerated male-only final clubs-made famous in films like The Social Network.

"As reflected in survey comments, these organizations directly and negatively influence the undergraduate experience for many students who are not themselves members of these organizations", a report from the committee read. Perhaps sensing the backlash to come from the recommendations of the policy's implementation committee, which recommended making the policy even harsher, Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana announced the formation of a new review committee in January 2017. The final decision on any change now falls to Harvard President Drew Faust. 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. "Due to their resistance to change over the decades, they have lapsed into products behind their time". In the future, prospective students who very badly wish to join single-gender legacy clubs can simply apply elsewhere.

If approved, Harvard would join other colleges that have taken heavy actions against Greek life groups. Numerous clubs date back to the 1800s or earlier and have an impressive alumni list; Theodore Roosevelt was a member of one called the Porcellian Club. Some find great fulfillment in helping their younger fellow club members adjust to life after Harvard and advance their careers.

This is not the first incident of a campus-based deliberation on societies and clubs at Harvard. Then, they should move forward with a policy that works in the best interests of young people still on Harvard's campus.