A committee of Harvard faculty has recommended that starting in 2018, there should no longer be fraternaties or sororities allowed on their university's campus. The committee has stated that the culture of abuse within these organizations is endemic to the functioning of these groups and is totally irreperable.
A 22-page report on the situation from The Harvard Crimson reveals the thought process behind the committee's move, which suggested that organizations that arrange around a single gender are both outdated and inherently opprobrious: "The Committee’s deliberations were carried out under the shadow of tragic events related to hazing and excessive drinking at other campuses across America ... The comments written by Harvard students in the anonymous surveys about events that take place behind the closed doors of USGOs [Unrecognized Single-Gender Social Organizations] are disturbing, and the comments about the negative effects that USGSOs have on fellow students in the Harvard community are heartbreaking."
“The final clubs in particular were products of their time,” write the faculty. “Due to their resistance to change over the decades, they have lapsed into products behind their time.”
Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust had previously discouraged students at her schools from joining these groups by barring students in them from leading official Harvard organizations, sports teams, and refusing to give members letters of recommendations. Faculty who created this latest report seem to expect a negative response to their idea, saying it "will likely draw heavy criticism from both alumni and undergraduates in social groups, who have repeatedly attacked the existing policy as overreaching and unnecessary."
A final policy will be decided in the fall.
[Photo: Wikimedia Commons]