“leaders of our community should exemplify the characteristics of non-discrimination and inclusivity”
The school claims this is all about inclusion. What about freedom of association? Aren’t students smart enough to make choices for themselves?
Campus Reform reports:
Harvard formally adopts sanctions on single-gender clubs
Harvard University announced Tuesday that it will formally adopt an interim policy forbidding students from serving in leadership roles if they belong to unrecognized single-gender clubs.
Outgoing President Drew Faust and Harvard Corporation fellow William F. Lee shared the news via email, reporting that the Corporation—not the faculty, as expected—had voted to maintain the school’s existing policy on unrecognized single-gender social organizations (USGSOs), which has been in place on an interim basis since May 2016.
“Under the policy, students may decide to join a USGSO and remain in good standing,” a statement attached to the email asserts, though it also cautions that “decisions often have consequences, as they do here in terms of the students’ eligibility for decanal endorsements and leadership positions supported by institutional resources.”
Reiterating that “the policy does not discipline or punish the students,” but rather “recognizes that students who serve as leaders of our community should exemplify the characteristics of non-discrimination and inclusivity that are so important to our campus,” the Corporation’s statement emphasizes its belief that the policy preserves “agency and choice” while balancing competing interests.
Despite its rhetorical concessions to freedom of association, though, the statement makes clear that the Corporation considers USGSOs a pernicious influence on campus, saying its members concurred that “the university must act” to limit the reach of such clubs.
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