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Ed School Chapter Charges Sexism; Withdraws From National Fraternity


The School of Education's chapter of a national honorary teaching fraternity has voted to withdraw from its national organization to protest the fraternity's policy of excluding women from membership.

Seventy per cent of the Ed School's chapter of Phi Delta Kappa supported the withdrawal decision after a biennial meeting of the fraternity's national council refused to recognize women as members. Harvard and several other graduate schools have been accepting female members on a local basis despite national council rulings.

"When we send in (women's) names, the national organization sends back letters saying the women are not members in good standing." LeBaron Moseby, president of the Ed School's chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, said yesterday. Women accepted to the Harvard chapter are not required to pay full dues since they do not receive the same services, he added.


The national convention refused to seat one Harvard alternate delegate, Virginia Barcus, because she was female, although it did permit her to remain as an "observer." Barcus said yesterday that she felt economic and status apprehensions were responsible for the conservative view of women in the fraternity.

"One delegate said that letting women into the organization would be 'like letting in black widow spiders." Barcus said. The national organization offers a job placement service, and Barcus said many male members feared the added job competition if women were admitted.

Theodore R. Sizer, dean of the School of Education and a member of the Harvard chapter, protested the selective admissions policy in a letter to the parent organization last month. "The fraternity sorority distinction is simply of another era," the letter said in part.

"There is nothing more I can do beside scream along with the rest (of the Harvard chapter)," Sizer said. The local chapter has already published its own letter objecting to the admissions policies.

The de facto policy of admitting women to local Phi Delta Kappa chapters is being followed at several other graduate schools--including Columbia, Stanford and New York.

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