A new lawsuit against Yale University makes the case that not letting female students in fraternities is discrimination and a violation of Title IX regulations.
According to a report from the New York Times, a group of three female students at Yale University who say that they have been harassed at fraternity parties are now suing the university for a violation of Title IX regulations.
The lawsuit makes the case that it is discriminatory to not let female students into fraternities. The group argues that fraternities at Yale often offers male students networking opportunities that are obviously not available to female students. Additionally, Yale fraternities open up certain housing options to male students that are not available for women.
The lawsuit, filed as a class-action complaint, accuses Yale of violating Title IX of federal education law, which prohibits sex discrimination by institutions receiving federal funding, and breach of contract for not providing the educational environment it promised. It accuses the fraternities of violating the Fair Housing Act for offering housing only to men, and Yale and the fraternities of violating Connecticut’s law against discrimination in places of public accommodation. It seeks unspecified damages.
The women belong to a student group called Engender that has used civil rights-type tactics to try to force fraternities to accept women. For the past three years, women and “non-binary” students from Engender have tried to join fraternities. Only one fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, let them apply, according to court papers. But in the end they were denied and the fraternity chapter said it was because their national chapter did not allow women, the lawsuit says.
It seems like the student do not actually want to gain admission into Yale’s fraternity system. Rather, they’d like to see it torn down altogether. A similar battle is taking place at Harvard University, where officials have cracked down on single-sex student organizations.
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