A national LGBT rights group has condemned Harvard University for its decision to penalize members of single-sex clubs on campus.
Administrators at Harvard University faced serious backlash after announcing a policy that would penalize members of unrecognized single-gender social organizations by banning them from seeking athletic team captaincies and leadership positions in other university-recognized campus activities.
Now, Harvard is facing criticism from an LGBT rights group which is claiming that this policy “will not fix the serious campus problems of sexual assault or discrimination.” Campus Pride, which is an organization for LGBT college students, released a statement that condemned the policy and claimed that it would likely only exacerbate issues of campus discrimination.
“Harvard’s policy will not fix the serious campus problems of sexual assault or discrimination—much less classism and racism,” Shane L. Windmeyer, the executive director of Campus Pride, wrote in the press release. “It will only drive them further underground. Blocking access or restricting rights is never the answer to complex issues.”
A Harvard spokesperson claimed that the new rule was designed to increase efforts in the university’s commitment to building an inclusive educational community, but many remain skeptical of the policy’s capacity to deliver the desired outcome: “Harvard College is committed to building an inclusive campus community where all students have equal opportunity to live, learn, and thrive and we have the obligation to establish general regulations and standards that shape our Harvard community in a manner that is consistent with our educational philosophy.”
You can read more about Campus Pride’s reaction to Harvard’s new policy below:
In the statement, Campus Pride sided with national greek and fraternal organizations, which sharply condemned Harvard’s sanctions after they were announced in early May. Campus Pride has advocated for BGLTQ inclusion in fraternities and sororities across the country for nearly 20 years, Windmeyer wrote, particularly for transgender people who wish to join organizations that correspond to their gender identity, rather than their assigned biological sex.
“For some trans and LGB young people, there is great value, affirmation and personal growth from being part of a single-gendered brotherhood or sisterhood,” he wrote, emphasizing that the organization supported students’ rights to join groups of their choosing, even as it sympathized with Harvard’s goal of tackling sexual assault and exclusivity.
Tom Ciccotta is a classical liberal who writes about Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity for Breitbart. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or on Facebook. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org