Gender

Some Single-Sex Organizations at Harvard Go Quietly While Others Vow to Fight

Harvard's Delta Gamma sorority announced that that they are disbanding due to university rules banning single-sex student organizations.

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Wikimedia Commons

Incoming female students at Harvard University will have one less Greek-Life option now, thanks to the school's recent restrictions on single-sex organizations. The Zeta Phi-Cambridge Area, a chapter of the Delta Gamma organization, has chosen to disband rather than comply with the new rules.

In the spring, Harvard Delta Gamma members had signed a letter ("We Believe Women Should Make their Own Choices") along with two other sororities, Alpha Phi and Kappa Alpha Theta, expressing their plans to continue operating and continue recruitment of female students.

"We realize that including freshman women as members in our organizations is in contravention of the current sanctions Harvard's administration has imposed on single-gender social groups," said the letter. "Yet penalizing our future members for their involvement in a sorority, in reality, denies them access to member-driven education and support systems shown to be effective in battling sexual assault, as well as alcohol abuse, mental health issues, and the particular challenges inherent in college life."

But in May, Delta Gamma national voted to instead shut down its Harvard chapter entirely.

"The decision does not mean that we are succumbing to the university's new sanctions and policies regarding participation in unrecognized single-gender organizations like ours," Wilma Johnson Wilbanks, Delta Gamma president, said in a press release. "We will continue to champion our right to exist on campuses everywhere."

Some former members of Harvard Delta Gamma have formed a new organization called Kali Praxi, a co-ed social organization.

Additionally, Kappa Alpha Theta announced in July that "Harvard's chapter of the all-female sorority Kappa Alpha Theta will become the gender-neutral social group 'Theta Zeta Xi' and will disaffiliate from its national organization in the fall of 2018," according to Harvard student newspaper The Crimson.

Not all affected organizations have been willing to go away without a fight. Numerous all-male organizations have gone to lobby members of Congress to pass the PROSPER Act, a piece of legislation that can pressure universities to avoid penalizing student for joining single-sex organizations or lose federal dollars. In its current state, the bill would not impact current Harvard but students are hoping to convince Congress to add provisions that would impact them.

The Yale Daily News has speculated that if lobbying efforts are unsuccessful then students may pursue a lawsuit.

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  1. Where’s my hot sorority girl picture, Leonard? You have a lot to learn from ENB.

      1. I…I trusted you….

        *gouges out eyeballs*

  2. Not all affected organizations have been willing to go away without a fight. Numerous all-male organizations have gone to lobby members of Congress to pass the PROSPER Act, a piece of legislation that can pressure universities to avoid penalizing student for joining single-sex organizations or lose federal dollars. In its current state, the bill would not impact current Harvard but students are hoping to convince Congress to add provisions that would impact them.

    There’s no bad decision that can’t be made 10x worse by involving the government.

    1. It would appear that the government was involved before this proposed legislation. I don’t know. Maybe I imagined all the federal guaranteeing of loans and everything.

      1. So it was the government that changed Harvard’s policy on single-sex organizations in the first place?

        1. You said involving the government makes everything 10x worse. All I’m saying is that the government is already involved.

          1. So was the government actually involved in changing Harvard’s policy on single-sex organizations, or are you merely wasting everyone’s time with a pointless non sequitur?

            1. Pretty sure you began the non sequitur, but OK.

              Maybe if you don’t want the government interfering in your business practices you shouldn’t be rent seeking? I know it’s crazy, but there are colleges that do do that.

              1. What did I say that was a non sequitur exactly?

              2. Pretty sure you began the non sequitur, but OK.

                It’s a double non-sequitur. The government was so uninvolved in the decision that they sent everyone a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter to remind them that they aren’t required to comply with Title IX in order to maintain funding/accreditation and that seeking out the lowest burden of proof to root out sexual harassment, a form of sexual discrimination, would be a violation of due process and jurisprudence.

                Nowhere in the letter did it say anything about disbanding organizations that discriminate members based on sex. Duh.

            2. Your argument is essentially no different from the people who were saying that the government couldn’t threaten Bob Jones University’s federal dollar in order to compel them to end its racially based admission policies

              1. Actually my argument is very different from that because I’m not talking about Bob Jones University or admissions policies or what the government can and can’t do. Why not try responding to the arguments that I actually make instead of some fanciful comparison?

                1. “There’s no bad decision that can’t be made 10x worse by involving the government.”

                  Was this not the totality of your argument? Maybe I’m mistaken

                  1. Are you even disagreeing with that claim? Is this one little particular bit of government involvement going to get it “just right,” rather than, as Hugh says, making the situation even worse?

                    It’s not like the fraternities are going to Congress to ask for an end to student loan subsidies, so why are you pretending they’re the libertarian side?

                    1. Are you serious? There’s nothing more libertarian than having Congress tug on funding strings to get the desired outcome of a handful of well-heeled fratbros.

                    2. Yes, it is the fratbros who are well heeled. That’s why the impoverished and underprivileged administrators at Ivy League institutions were clearly swayed by their position.

                    3. “It’s not like the fraternities are going to Congress to ask for an end to student loan subsidies, so why are you pretending they’re the libertarian side?”

                      The article says “a piece of legislation that can pressure universities to avoid penalizing student for joining single-sex organizations or lose federal dollars.”

                      Some people don’t really want their tax dollars to subsidize woke experiments. It’s not crazy. If you want to do that then use your own money.

                      I’m curious to here how you justify an institution living off of federal dollars regulating a private group is in anyway “OK”, but elected officials deciding to end federal dollar for that institution is somehow a problem.

                      Yes, government involving itself does make the problem 10x worse. But, that already happened when they started supporting these institutions financially

                    4. Let me explain it in terms that you two would understand:

                      “Philadelphia has stopped financially funding Catholic Charities adoption services, because it won’t provide adoption to same sex couples”

                      Alright, now change your positions

                    5. Making others pay for your progressive objectives and then pretending like you’re actually advocating “less government” is pretty transparent.

                    6. Making others pay for your progressive objectives and then pretending like you’re actually advocating “less government” is pretty transparent.

                      FWIW, I don’t think Harvard should penalize students for being in single-sex organizations, but I also wouldn’t want to go to Harvard because it’s weird and creepy like that about student life.

                    7. FWIW, I don’t think Harvard should penalize students for being in single-sex organizations, but I also wouldn’t want to go to Harvard because it’s weird and creepy like that about student life.

                      My understanding is that Harvard has been completely cool with single-sex organizations for the overwhelming majority of its history and just coincidentally decided that they oppose school-affiliated single-sex organizations after they got a letter warning them that they aren’t required to do almost absolutely anything to combat the scourge of sex discrimination.

                    8. Some people don’t really want their tax dollars to subsidize woke experiments.

                      Right. But they have no problem with my tax dollars subsidizing their unwoke lifestyles. So they’re not on my, or the libertarian, side.

                    9. “Right. But they have no problem with my tax dollars subsidizing their unwoke lifestyles.”

                      This is a bit of a straw man. I’m only talking about the specifics of this issue

  3. Chemjeff, here is exhibit #3,765,987,235,890 on why the Ivies sucks and why anything Ivy should be held in contempt.

    1. He’s a “legacy”?

    2. Yes, by all means, let’s smear every Ivy League institution and all of its graduates and students with a broad brush without evaluating each one on their own merits! That is exactly what we ought to do!

  4. @realDonaldTrump
    Follow Follow @realDonaldTrump
    More
    “Infowars is the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies that uses sites like Facebook and YouTube to tear our nation apart. These companies must do more than take down one website. The survival of our democracy depends on it.”

    I can’t believe that idiot Tweeted this

    1. It was senator Chris Murphy.

      1. Well then, that’s different

        1. Still works.

    2. I’m not. I wonder how much of a difference he sees between Infowars and CNN?

      1. Infowars never theorized a plane’s disappearance through a black hole.

  5. Would the sororities be OK if they admit women with penises?

    1. BUCS would definitely be okay with that.

    2. How about men who used to have penises?

  6. Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests – we did.

    But you can’t hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few sick twisted individuals For if you do then shouldn’t we blame the whole fraternity system?

    And if the whole fraternity system is guilty then isn’t this an indictment of our educational institutions in general?

    I put it to you Greg!

    Isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well you can do whatever you want to us but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth …. the United States of America!!

    1. Yet Senator Blutarsky is the biggest SoCon in the Senate today.

    2. Yet Senator Blutarsky is the biggest SoCon in the Senate today.

    3. *cough* blowjob *cough*

  7. College is the time in life when you and your buddies can all do sexual things with each other you want and it’s OK. It’s a precious few years, and I for one won’t stand for females encroaching on this sacred male space.

    1. There’s a time and a place for everything – it’s called “college”.

    2. They’ve already ruined the Boy Scouts.

  8. But in May, Delta Gamma national voted to instead shut down its Harvard chapter entirely.

    The decision does not mean that we are succumbing to the university’s new sanctions and policies regarding participation in unrecognized single-gender organizations like ours,” Wilma Johnson Wilbanks, Delta Gamma president, said in a press release. “We will continue to champion our right to exist on campuses everywhere.”

    Uh…. yeah it does. That’s pretty much exactly what disbanding the chapter means. I can’t think of any way to succumb any harder than taking your ball and going home like that.

  9. Good luck if there’s a Knights of Columbus council there. Religious freedom for the win!

  10. While Harvard can ban organizations on campus all day long, they have even banned students from being members of clubs off campus that do not get activity fees. College students are adults and grad students are really adults–what business is it of theirs? What about the Association of University Women? Banned? How about a club for guys to play video games or a boxing club? Co-ed boxing? This is way beyond their rights as a college.

    1. Or NOW? Gay Men’s Chorus?

  11. Any word from Lambda Lambda Lambda?

    1. If only someone would remake that now. I can’t imagine what they would do with it. Having a gay black man that is into cross dressing was out there is the 80s. How do you to it in today’s time?

      Oh, apparently this time it is the straight men and women that can’t get into a fraternity/sorority. I guess Ogre would be a pansexual, vegan, bulimic that hates Republicans.

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