Final Club Meeting Reviews Title IX Policy and Safety Tips

Continuing to engage with the College’s unrecognized social clubs, Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana joined other administrators to meet with final club members on Monday, collectively offering them tips on hosting safe parties and information on Harvard’s sexual harassment policy.

Administrators from the Office of Student Life scheduled at least two meetings in the Student Organization Center at Hilles on Monday, one for affiliates of the College’s all-male final clubs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and another for female final clubs and other social organizations from 8 to 9:30 p.m., according to meeting agendas obtained by The Crimson. The meeting for female and other social clubs went on until about 10 p.m., however.

Although Harvard does not recognize final clubs or Greek organizations, College administrators regularly hold meetings with these social club leaders. Monday’s set of meetings was at least the second this academic year and the second that Khurana personally attended as dean.

At Monday’s meetings, administrators addressed a series of topics, according to documents they handed out to attendees. History professor Alison F. Johnson, who led a faculty committee that updated the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’s Title IX procedures, attended the first meeting with male final club leaders, but not the one with female counterparts. She talked about the policy with attendees, she confirmed Tuesday.

“Since our new policy includes expectations that were, in some cases, less robustly articulated in the past, it is important that the FAS maximize people's exposure to those new policies,” Johnson wrote in an email.

The Offices of Alcohol and Other Drug Services and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response offered students tips on bystander intervention, safe drinking, and hazing prevention, according to one hand-out. It detailed suggestions for promoting “positive team building” and party tips, and advice listed included reducing the “power differential between established and new members,” inviting administrators to provide programming to club members, locking private rooms before parties, and informing club members of the College’s and Massachusetts's hazing policies.

The agendas of both meetings also detailed a review of resources available for club leaders.

Both agendas set time aside for a “conversation” with Khurana, who declined to comment on the meeting because he said he told attendees that their conversation would be considered confidential. At a similar meeting in October, Khurana asked unrecognized social club affiliates questions about diversity and exclusivity, engaging with the groups in a way that attendees said they had not seen before from administrators.

“He was really asking them to think about their own communities and what their values are and the degree to which they align or don't align with the mission of the College,” Dean of Student Life Stephen Lassonde said in October.

These semiannual meetings are not the only way in which administrators engage with unrecognized social clubs. From informal lunches to conversations with club graduate board members, administrators maintain a relationship with unrecognized social groups.

Several male and female final club leaders either did not respond to or declined requests for comment on this story. Associate Dean of Student Life David R. Friedrich also declined to comment.

—Staff writer Noah J. Delwiche contributed to the reporting of this story.

—Staff writer Theodore R. Delwiche can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @trdelwic.


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