By now you’ve likely heard all about Harvard’s policy to penalize members of Greek organizations by banning them from captaincies on sports teams and leadership positions in other organizations.
A joint statement by the National Panhellenic Conference, North-American Interfraternity Conference, National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations and Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors decried the Harvard sanctions. The press release posted on the NPC website states, “We urge Harvard to reconsider this policy. Not only does it deny students the basic right of free association, it penalizes them for involvement in fraternities and sororities —experiences that foster leadership, personal growth and the very sense of engagement college is designed to create.”
Individual organizations are speaking out, too. A blog post by Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity President Laura Ware Doerre reads, in part:
“…It is disheartening to learn that some in higher education still do not regard female students as intelligent, independent adults with the ability to make their own decisions. It is even more discouraging to learn that the first female president of Harvard seems to have forgotten the women of Harvard. And it is distressing that, adding insult to injury, this assault was launched on the day final exams began, when students are perhaps their most vulnerable. One wonders where or if Harvard will draw the line in dictating the extracurricular activities of its students.” —Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity Blog
While it’s unfortunate that sorority members at Harvard are getting unjust treatment from their school administration, it’s heartening to see the Panhellenic support from all the councils and sorority headquarters. Perhaps the responses will make Harvard administration rethink their new policies.