Members of the Ed School's honor society denounced their exclusively-male parent organization at a conference of national educators on Equal Opportunity for Women last weekend.
The conference's workshop on professional schools passed a resolution submitted by the Harvard Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, the most prestigious professional fraternity for educators. The resolution condemned the International organization of Phi Delta Kappa for "blatant discrimination against female educators."
The workshop added a paragraph urging the banning of Phi Delta Kappa "from the use of meeting rooms and all other campus facilities and services until such time as they admit women to membership."
The resolution, which will be sent to all deans of schools of education, is the first national reaction to the international organization's decision last January to suspend any chapter that submitted a membership list including women.
The Harvard chapter, which has included women for four years, plans to submit an updated roster within two weeks, LeBaron Mossby, assistant dean and president of the Harvard chapter, said yesterday.
Virginia Barcus, an Ed School student and member of the local chapter's executive board, yesterday stressed the important of opening the society to women.
"Not belonging to the organization is a decided liability for women," she said. "It keeps them out of the mainstream of contacts in the profession, where men sit as gatekeepers on jobs in the higher levels."
Barcus was a member of a panel on the Phi Delta Kappa case at last weekend's conference on Equal Opportunity for Women, sponsored jointly by Urban Research Corporation, the American Association of Colleges, and Brown, Berkeley, Oberlia, and Wisconsin.
Moseby, who had previously termed the international organization's stand "intellectually indefensible and morally reprehensible," agreed that opening the organization was necessary for women's rights.
"What we find in education today is that men dominate in all power positions. Men now have by memberships in Phi Delta Kappa extra prestige. To add women to the ranks will help nullify that inequity," he said