Yesterday, we brought you the news that Indiana University had decided to suspend all Greek Life activities until the spring semester, becoming the latest major university to make a major decision regarding fraternities. Today, we bring you an update from Harvard.
In July, a Harvard University committee proposed a ban on all student fraternities, sororities, and single-gender clubs. According to The Crimson, the proposal, which aims to ban groups the committee says have had a “pernicious influence on undergraduate life”, would apply to incoming freshmen.
The proposed ban was created by a committee formed to study whether new rules could make the prestigious university more inclusive. The ban is largely aimed at secretive all-male social clubs, which administrators say have problems with sexual assault and alcohol abuse.
via The Crimson:
In a 22-page report released Wednesday morning, the committee proposed that the policy—which would replace existing penalties for members of the social groups that are set to go into place in the fall—apply to students entering in the fall of 2018.
“All currently enrolled students including those who will matriculate this fall will be exempt from the new policy for the entirety of their time at Harvard,” according to the report. “This will lead to a transition period, whereby USGSOs would be phased out by May 2022.”
The committee suggested that Harvard model its new social group policy very closely on those enforced by Williams College and Bowdoin College, both of which forbid students form participating in social clubs during their time as undergraduates.
According to the committee, the ban could prevent hazing and alcohol-related tragedies similar to those seen at other colleges recently. The ban was modeled after similar bans at Williams College and Bowdoin College. Until the proposal is reviewed, the university’s current social group policy, which is slated to last until the Class of 2021, is still in effect.
Harvard becomes the latest major university to consider major Greek life overhaul, after major schools such as joining the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, Texas State, Florida State, Ball State, Louisiana State and Penn State.
The latest update came a couple of weeks ago as the Faculty of Arts and Sciences continued the debate over unrecognized single-gender social organizations (namely, fraternities and sororities). You can read the full report on the on-going debate about Greek Life at Harvard over on Harvard Magazine.