Harvard University will ban fraternity and sorority members from obtaining Rhodes scholarships and earning any leadership positions on campus, according to a Tuesday report.
The school confirmed that it will implement a plan it announced in May 2016, which will prevent members of unregulated single-gender social groups from leading campus groups and getting formal endorsements for Rhodes scholarships and other accolades, reported The Wall Street Journal.
Frats and sororities are “a product of another era, a time when Harvard’s student body was all male, culturally homogeneous, and overwhelmingly white and affluent,” said Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust and Harvard Corporation senior fellow William F. Lee in a statement obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We should not become a Greek school, much less one where these organizations exist outside the College’s supervision.”
“The tensions between freedom and equality, between the rights of the individual and the welfare of the community have long challenged American society and have been the focus of much of the USGSO debate,” said Faust and Lee. “As a professor of history noted in last October’s Faculty meeting, ‘the freedom of association enjoyed by some of our students comes at the cost of excluding the majority of our students from those associations.'”
Harvard’s class of 2022 — current freshmen — as well as future classes will all be subject to the ban.
While four single-gender groups went co-ed after Harvard’s May 2016 announcement of the policy, the college otherwise received harsh criticism from the groups. (RELATED: Shimshock Show Says Harvard Is Right, Must Ban Frats)
In addition to the ban on obtaining scholarships and leadership positions a Harvard faculty committee previously recommended banning the groups entirely.
“I’m very disappointed in this overreaching decision by the administration,” said Emily Hall, a Harvard senior and president of the school’s Network of Enlightened Women chapter, to TheDCNF. “Not only did they make the wrong decision and move forward with taking away students’ rights, they also did so by executive fiat rather than by faculty vote, and completely ignored student sentiments on the matter. I hope that in five years, when they are required to reassess, some new leadership has come to the university that values student freedom.”
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