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By Rob Shimshock
A Harvard University faculty committee has advised that the school prohibit students from joining “fraternities, sororities, and similar organizations” with the intent of getting rid of the single-gender organizations completely by May 2022.
The policy will replace Harvard’s current policy, announced May 2016, which merely banned students who joined single-gender groups from obtaining some campus leadership roles. Harvard’s dean of the faculty of arts and sciences, as well as the school’s president will need to approve the change, reported The Harvard Crimson Wednesday.
“All currently enrolled students including those who will matriculate this fall will be exempt from the new policy for the entirety of their time at Harvard,” says the 22-page report. “This will lead to a transition period, whereby [unrecognized single gender social organizations] would be phased out by May 2022.”
Students enrolling in Harvard beginning fall 2018 would be subject to the single-gender organization ban and the faculty committee recommends that Harvard punishes students discovered to be partaking in such organizations.
“Our main reservation about the stated goal of the policy was whether the focus on ending gender segregation and discrimination is too narrow,” said the faculty committee. “If all of these organizations adopted gender-neutral membership in a timely fashion, there would remain a myriad of practices of these organizations that go against the educational mission and principles espoused by Harvard University.”
“The report proposes an escalation of the conflict between unrecognized social organizations and Harvard College,” said David Haig, a Harvard biology professor who authored a dissenting opinion in the report. The professor mentioned that there was insufficient data concerning student and faculty opinion on the previous policy forbidding students in single-gender groups from holding certain leadership roles.
The faculty committee will discuss its recommendations with Harvard faculty in fall 2017. The committee plans to deliver the recommendations to Michael Smith, Harvard’s dean of the faculty of arts and sciences and subsequently to Harvard President Drew Faust. (RELATED: Ten Students Get Harvard Offers Rescinded For Sharing Memes In Private Chat)
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Harvard University for comment, but received none in time for publication.