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Thursday, July 20, 2017
Harvard proposes expelling students who join social clubs
The following article
appeared on the Campus Reform website on July 14th
By Natalie Bao Tram Le
A faculty committee wants Harvard University
to dramatically ramp up its assault on "unrecognized single-gender social
organizations" by eliminating all “fraternities, sororities, and similar
organizations” by 2022.
previously sought to crack down on the "discriminatory" social clubs
by preventing members from holding leadership positions on campus or qualifying
for Rhodes or Marshall scholarships.
New Harvard Dean Wormer
A Harvard University faculty committee
has proposed completely eliminating all “fraternities, sororities, and similar
organizations” to end their “pernicious influence” on student life.
In a 22-page
report released to the public this week, the Committee on the Unrecognized
Single-Gender Social Organizations (USGSO) advocates the dramatic approach as
an alternative to the university’s previous efforts to tamp down on “final
clubs”—unofficial, single-gender student groups that administrators
have deemed “discriminatory.”
In May 2016, Harvard announced
that members of single-sex, off-campus organizations would not be eligible for
Rhodes or Marshall scholarships, and could no longer hold leadership roles in
student clubs and athletic teams, but the USGSO committee is now suggesting
that students who participate in such clubs face suspension, or even expulsion,
as part of an effort to “phase out” the groups by 2022.
The report acknowledges that some
USGSO’s “have already taken steps to admit members of both genders” in response
to the ongoing campaign against them, but asserts that “even if all of these
organizations adopted gender-neutral membership in a timely fashion,” the clubs
would still exert “socially distorting and pernicious effects” on the campus
Despite the “profound sense of
belonging” reported by many final club members, the report asserts that this
“comes at the expense of the exclusion of the vast majority of Harvard
undergraduates” because of the “invidious manner in which such clubs form their
memberships and generate their guest lists.”
The Committee explicitly modeled its
proposed solution on policies in place at Williams College and Bowdoin College,
both of which prohibit students from joining fraternities or other
“selective-membership social organizations” under threat of disciplinary
A "Selective Membership Organization"
Both policies were included in the
report because Committee members could not settle on a single example, with
some favoring the “simplicity” of the Williams policy while others preferred
the more-detailed Bowdoin policy.
Biology professor David Haig wrote the
sole dissenting opinion in the report, arguing that the Committee’s
recommendation represents an affront to “student autonomy” with little prospect
of advancing “non-discrimination and inclusivity” on campus.
Citing a 2016 student referendum that
showed 60 percent support for repealing the previous sanctions on final club
members, Haig observed that “there is a disconnect between these numbers on
student opinion and the general tone of this committee’s report, which
emphasizes deep unhappiness among students with the social environment created
by the clubs.”
Indeed, he even pointed out that “the
various committees on USGSO policy, including this one, have never sought
quantitative unbiased data on student opinions but have relied on selected
comments of students opposed to the clubs,” asserting that while he has heard
many positive testimonials from students about final clubs, “it would be wrong
for me to conclude from my data that most students support the USGSO’s because
my data are a highly biased sample of opinions.”
Emily Hall, a Harvard student and Campus
Reform Campus Correspondent, said she finds the proposed policy “incredibly
troublesome and far-reaching,” calling it an excessive intrusion into the
private lives of students.
"This new policy recommendation
is paternalistic and an appalling affront to students' right to freedom of
association,” she declared. “While the initial policy was already overreaching
into students' private lives, the new sanctions go a step further by allowing no
way for clubs to adhere to the policy and by threatening expulsion for those
who choose to join.”
Conor Healy, the president of the
Harvard Open Campus Initiative, likewise blasted the move as paternalistic,
describing it as a blatant attempt to impose the administrators’ values on
“The college administration wants to
remake Harvard’s social life in their own image, and that kind of parental
supervision is unwelcome to me and should be unwelcome to any students who
value individuality,” he told Campus Reform.
Healy found the report’s
argument that “gay men will likely feel unwelcome at male clubs that
reinforce heteronormative social life” especially absurd, declaring that, as a
gay student himself, he feels that “the unwelcome places for gay students are
within the administration that is so ideologically entrenched.”
You're OUT you little shit!
Healy’s Open Campus Initiative also
released an official statement arguing that the debate over social clubs
was “not just about freedom of association,” but in fact has ramifications on
the “very ability for campuses to remain strongholds of individualism.”
It remains unclear whether the
administration will approve the Committee’s recommendations, Haig told
the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, noting that even if the
report is endorsed by Harvard President Drew Faust, “it is unclear whether it
would be brought to the faculty for approval rather than just comment.”
In short, students who join social clubs are certain to be exposed to ideas/information which have NOT been approved by the "right" people. Such uncontrolled/unfiltered thoughts represent a danger to the authority of the left. Ed.