Harvard Sororities Defy Ban On Single-Gender Groups

220px-Harvard_Wreath_Logo_1.svgWe have previously discussed the crackdown at Harvard on single gender clubs and associations (even groups off campus). Last year, Harvard established penalties for students who refuse to yield to the rule against belonging to single-gender organizations, including barring students from serving on campus leadership positions.  This includes Greek organizations.  Now, women are objecting that they are being penalized and denied their “right to choose.”  Notably, however, the protesting sororities did not question the barring of males but rather having such rules apply to women.

Originally, Harvard focused on male organizations.  Indeed, it has shown a willingness to exclude men from some areas like workout rooms.  Despite the threats from Harvard, three sororities at Harvard University are defying the rule even though any new members will be barred under the rule from leadership positions on campus. 
In a joint statement released on Dec. 12, Harvard’s Alpha Phi, Delta Gamma and Kappa Alpha Theta stated:

We realize that including freshman women as members in our organizations is in contravention of the current sanctions Harvard’s administration has imposed on single-gender social groups. These sanctions have been touted as a response to the recommendations of a report on sexual assault prevention. Yet penalizing our future members for their involvement in a sorority in reality denies them access to member-driven education and support systems shown to be effective in battling sexual assault, as well as alcohol abuse, mental health issues, and the particular challenges inherent in college life. Further, while Harvard’s sanctions claim to support women’s right to make their own decisions, these sanctions actually force women to choose between the opportunity to have supportive, empowering women-only spaces and external leadership opportunities.

I would have hoped for a principled position in favor of free speech and associational rights for all students, not just women.  It is not clear if the sororities are suggesting that the ban can continue to apply to male-exlusive groups but not to women-exclusive groups.

For its part, Harvard has dressed up its draconian rule in Orwellian terms of freedom:  “Ultimately, students have the freedom to decide which is more important to them: membership in a gender-discriminatory organization or access to those privileges and resources.”

Notably, one member of the board that promulgated this rule wanted to go further.  History Professor James Kloppenberg wanted to expel students who belonged to single gendered groups (even off campus).  He predicted that the school will eventually adopt such a rule and conditions an education on not joining male-exclusive or female exclusive groups.

As many on this blog know, I tend to favor free speech and associational rights in such disputes.  The regulations and punishment of students and faculty for their associations outside of school creates a chilling effect on free speech.  Moreover, it allows for a host of such limitations based on majoritarian values.

What do you think?


44 thoughts on “Harvard Sororities Defy Ban On Single-Gender Groups”

  1. Oh, that pernicious administrative state.

    The Seventh Circuit unanimously decided that a “policy that requires an individual to use a bathroom that does not conform with his or her gender identity . . . violates Title IX,” a law requiring educational institutions that take federal money to treat males and females the same. It was the first time any federal appeals court concluded that the 1972 statute’s phrase “sex discrimination” means “gender identity discrimination.”

  2. When I was i college women were “protected” from sexual assault and various other crimes by complying with a university enforced curfew for women only. It gave women a distinct educational disadvantage when the guys had 24 hour access to the lab to finish work on a project and the women did not. I ended up changing my major to one that didn’t require late nights at the lab.

  3. Apparently educators have discovered a way to prepare these college-bound students for just this sort of idiocy. Start the indoctrination in preschool and they won’t be so shocked by the time they enter college.

    Members of the royal family aren’t often told what they can and can’t do. But just a few days into his first year of school, 4-year-old Prince George already faces a mandate: No best friends allowed.

    Thomas’s Battersea, the school George attends, bans kids from having best friends, Marie Claire reports. Instead, teachers encourage all students to form bonds with one another to avoid creating feelings of exclusions among those without best friends.

    1. It is articles such as this that further reinforce my belief that rebelling from the UK was one of the best decisions we made.

      1. I agree. However it appears the lessons of history have become lessons for history; not to be taught but experienced anew.

  4. Can we all put aside the issue for a moment and marvel, together, at the idea that sororities help young women “battle alcohol abuse”?

    1. Yes, that made me laugh too. As well as the threat of taking away a student from serving on campus leadership positions.

  5. Why not just ban all fraternities and sororities. What purpose do they serve anyways? And student government…what a ridiculous concept.

  6. I think that females should be on the same wrestling teams as the males. The mail ought to come by UPS and not USPS. The coal miner’s daughters should be adults and not minors when they go out on dates. A coal minor’s daughter at Harvard should not be allowed to date a coal minor’s son at Harvard or Yale.
    Roomates in the dorms when assigned the Freshman year should be assigned by sex. One male with one female in each dorm room. If the female is bent then the male should be bent. Paul Bendover should be expelled. Harold Rectum should room with Ginny Vagin. Queer Lanier should have a pet dog.

  7. Pooh, pooh Harvard, pooh, pooh Yale. I got my education in the mail. It’s safer that way.

  8. If you teach at Harvard then YSDS. Your itShay Don’t Stink. Pig Latin for all. Harvard for dumb. Went in dumb- come out dumb too. Hustlin round Atlanta in their alligator shoes. They’re keeping the ______ s down.

  9. MDM. Male Dongs Matter! BLM. WWM. Old Ladies Matter! Old Farts Matter! H&YDM! Harvard and Yale Don’t Matter.


    If I went to Harvard or Yale.
    I’d buy a mule and hold his tail.
    I’d get married to a widow next door.
    One whose been married seven times before!
    And every one was a Henry. Heneeeree!
    Henry The 8th I am!

  10. The so called “university” needs to expel Klopenberg or however ya spull his name because he might be Jewish. After all, if they can penalize women then they can penalize males for their religion. Seig Heil. Or however ya spull it.

  11. So long as Harvard applies this “rule’ to All areas it controls, specifically sports teams, I can accept this. No women’s or mens teams just “school teams” would in time eliminate women from college sports. Law of unintended consequences?

  12. To the extent that ‘in loco parentis’ still applies, it can only apply on campus.

    This is a rediculously poor way to solve whatever the perceived problem might be. Doesn’t happen around here.

    1. In loco parentis, DB? I’m sorry that your mom and dad have gone crazy, and I hope they get better.

  13. I love it when PC rules and the factions that have created them begin to clash. There’s nothing like internal strife to crash a movement.

    Poor Hollywood’s-favorite-Muslim Aziz Ansari and his little white morning-after regretful snowflake one-night-stand slut. The PC crowd is split on who to root for with this one!

  14. I’m not surprised that Harvard banned all-male organizations, but I’m very surprised they banned all-female groups. I’ll have to give them points for being consistent.

  15. I would say that there are at least two administrators who could be let go from the staff and nobody would notice. This is just silly. The co-ed showers are going to be fun. 😉

  16. A replay of the Frankenstein Mythos, where one’s creation comes back to haunt the creator, with a vengeance.

    This is the Left’s Frankenstein, its war on men, and its war on “discrimination”, breaking its chains and running amok.

    I guess the Left has to destroy women to save women.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Spot on, Squeek, a natural conclusion to the belief that there is no such thing as differences between the biological sexes. As Olly says, pass the popcorn!

  17. One loses the right to join in student government? No loss there.

    Faculty bureaucrats should concern themselves with something other than students’ living arrangements. With all that time on their hands there must exist redundancy in their departments that could be trimmed.

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