icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Harvard drops penalties on ‘single-gender’ social clubs after years-long litigation

Harvard drops penalties on ‘single-gender’ social clubs after years-long litigation
Harvard University will no longer sanction students who take part in single-gender organizations, concluding the penalties would not survive an ongoing legal challenge from fraternities and sororities.

The Ivy League school said it would no longer enforce the ban on same-sex clubs on Monday, with Harvard president Lawrence Bacow noting the university “will not be able to carry forward with the existing policy under the prevailing interpretation of federal law.” The move came just hours after a group of student organizations asked a federal judge to halt the controversial policy with an injunction, following a pair of lawsuits brought last year.

One of the plaintiffs, the international Sigma Chi Fraternity, an all-male organization, hailed the move in a tweet on Tuesday.

Harvard initially imposed penalties on students who joined “unrecognized single-sex social organizations” in 2016, barring them from holding leadership positions in other student groups and athletic teams, while also denying them college administered fellowships. The policy came on the heels of an internal report finding links to sexual assault and “deeply misogynistic attitudes” among all-male clubs, resolving to do away with them entirely.

Though the school also maintains that all single-gender groups are discriminatory, the plaintiffs on the suit have countered that the ban itself involved gender-based rules, arguing the policy “explicitly turns on the sex of both the student and those with whom the student associates.”

Also on rt.com Harvard hoisted by own petard as ‘diversity’ students protest decision to deny tenure to ‘grievance studies’ professor

In December 2017, Harvard modified the rule to allow female students to remain in single-sex groups for a “grace period” of five years, but nonetheless reaffirmed the ban on all-male organizations. Though the school urged the female groups to move toward more inclusion, the policy change created a clear gender-based distinction.

Following the decision, Harvard suggested that its axing of the penalties should halt the student lawsuit, arguing that it was not entitled to pay the plaintiffs’ legal fees, however lawyers for the frats and sororities told Reuters on Tuesday that the suit would continue regardless, seeking a ruling on the now-defunct rules.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!