Although Harvard is holding strong to its commitment to punish members of single-sex male clubs, “gender-focused” female clubs have continued to flourish.
Reporting for Reason Magazine, Kayla Stetzel highlighted the double standard emerging at Harvard over new policies that sanction members of single-sex student organizations.
While many at Harvard championed the new policy as a necessary antidote to the campus’s sexual assault problem, others were concerned about how the ban would impact single-sex female groups. Legions of female students protested across campus and #HearHerHarvard became an online rallying cry. The Crimson felt the ban was unfairly targeting “spaces for women,” yet hailed the ban’s treatment of male organizations as rightfully addressing “the role exclusionary social organizations play in perpetuating outdated notions of elitism, classism, and exclusivity on campus.”
Breitbart Tech has extensively covered the developments in this story. In December, Harvard officially adopted a policy that would punish members of single-sex student organizations. While the new policy took place immediately for male clubs, female clubs were given a five-year “grace period.” Most recently, Harvard University’s Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority chapter dissolved to form a new gender-neutral social club called the Fleur-de-Lis, likely in an attempt to comply with the new policy. New protests from female students make it unclear as to whether or not the “grace period” for female-only social clubs will ever come to an end.
The Crimson reported in March 2017 that Harvard committee wrote in 2016 that they would support “the idea of continuing to allow the female final clubs and sororities to operate with gender-focused missions, with the understanding that the positive contributions of those organizations to the campus community would be assessed in three to five years.”
The Harvard Fly Club, an all-male social club, has retained a lawyer to challenge the sanctions that could now be levied against student members. Although it is unclear whether or not the Harvard Fly Club will file a lawsuit, some students are ready to push back against the new policy.