Education

Harvard Sororities Stay Open, Even After School Threatens Them With No Leadership Or Recommendations

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter

Three Harvard University sororities are continuing to recruit, even after the school threatened them with no leadership positions or recommendations, according to a Thursday report.

The school’s Alpha Phi, Delta Gamma, and Kappa Alpha Theta chapters explained a decision to host rush in fall 2018, despite penalties they will face. Alpha Phi and Kappa Alpha Theta issued a joint press release Tuesday titled “We Believe Women Should Make Their Own Choices,” reported Campus Reform.

“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,” said the organizations.

The groups referred to Harvard’s policy to ban members of single-gender groups from holding campus leadership positions, as well as banning them from applying for Rhodes and Marshall scholarships by means of denying them faculty endorsements for those scholarships or endorsements necessary to apply. (RELATED: Harvard To Ban Frat And Sorority Members From Rhodes Scholarships, Leadership Positions)

“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,” explained the three groups.

“We also recognize the concerns expressed by women students about the deficiencies in the campus social environment that have led many to seek membership in sororities,” said Harvard president Drew Faust and Harvard Corporation senior fellow William F. Lee in a December statement. “The College is committed to continuing the necessary work of addressing these issues in ways consistent with our broader educational mission.”

Harvard previously considered banning frats and sororities entirely instead of merely punishing them.

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