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Members of the Graduate School of Education's chapter of Phi Delta Kappa organized a women's caucus Wednesday to protest the national leadership's policy of excluding women.
The Ed School's women's caucus decided to solicit help from the American Civil Liberties Union in studying possible legal action against International Phi Delta Kappa, a fraternity for educators.
"It's the only large professional organization in the world that excludes women," Virginia Bareus, vice president of the Harvard chapter, said yesterday. "This practice has to be stopped."
She said a lawsuit would be one method to push for the admission of women. "We've also consulted with the Women's Equality Action League to help us launch our campaign in several directions," she said.
Barcus said the caucus hopes it can obtain publicity in prominent women's magazines for their cases. She added that they will send letters to the more than 250 campus chapters of Phi Delta Kappa asking them to join the protest.
The Harvard chapter, which violated national fraternity policy by admitting women in 1968, this week invited ten other chapters, including Columbia, Stanford and the University of Michigan, to join the women's caucus. The caucus so far, has received no response.
Several chapter representatives and educators passed a resolution submitted by the Harvard chapter condemning the parent fraternity for "blatant discrimination against female educators," at a national conference on Equal Opportunity for women two weeks ago.
Soon after the conference, some ten chapters mailed letters to dean of all the education schools in the United States requesting that organization that discrimination against women not be permitted to use campus facilities.
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