Earlier this year, we reported on Harvard University’s announcement of penalties on members of unrecognized single-gender organizations.
The prestigious Ivy League university has been systematically eliminating single-sex organizations such as fraternities and sororities by implementing penalties and sanctions against those who participate in them.
The Crimson — Harvard’s student newspaper — reported that starting with the class of 2021, the school’s policy will ban undergraduate members of these groups from certain leadership positions on campus, athletic captaincies, and postgraduate fellowships.
Now, following the school’s decision to discourages students from joining single-gender social clubs, several national fraternities and sororities have sued Harvard University in response.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Boston’s federal court by two fraternities and two sororities, argue that the school’s policy discriminates against students based on their sex and spreads negative stereotypes about students who join all-male or all-female organizations, according to NBC News.
via NBC News:
Harvard officials crafted the rule to curb secretive all-male groups known as “final clubs,” whose members include some former U.S. presidents but have faced mounting criticism from the university. A 2016 report by the school accused the clubs of having “deeply misogynistic attitudes” and tied them to problems with sexual assaults.
But the rule also applies to a variety of other groups, including fraternities, sororities and even single-gender musical groups. Since the rule took effect last year, at least three sororities have cut ties with their national organizations and reopened as co-ed groups.
Harvard does not officially recognize any fraternities or sororities, but several have been available to Harvard students in the past, often with houses located near campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The sororities who are suing Harvard University have been identified as Kappa Alpha Theta and Kappa Kappa Gamma, and the two fraternities in the federal suit have been identified as Sigma Chi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon.