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Time to Review Radcliffe


By Rob Yalen

In light of the recent student debate at the Institute of Politics on the status of Radcliffe College, the Civil Liberties Union of Harvard would like to emphasize a crucial consideration: discrimination. While recognizing the need for women-oriented resources and classes to be available to the community, CLUH has firmly condemned any form of gender discrimination, whether against women, or in their favor. Such discrimination flies in the face of a most basic principle of American democracy: equal rights for all individuals. Harvard University's own non-discrimination policy (1985) declares that

"The principle of not discriminating against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, veteran status, or disability unrelated to job or course of study requirements is consistent with the purposes of a university."

CLUH sees no justification for the current situation, where certain resources and membership in certain organizations at Radcliffe College are denied to men purely on the basis of their gender. CLUH is not passing judgment on independent women's colleges in general. However, CLUH feels it clear that Radcliffe is so intimately joined with Harvard that the ethical obligation demanding Harvard's resources be open to all applies equally to Radcliffe. Involvement in women's issues should be open to all members of the Harvard community on an equal basis.

On November 11, 1993, CLUH adopted the following policy:

Whereas, CLUH strongly supports the 1985 University-wide non-discrimination policy; and

Whereas, certain activities of Radcliffe College, considered in the light of Harvard University's relationship to Radcliffe College, appear to conflict with this policy; be it therefore

Resolved, that CLUH urges Harvard University to alter its relationship with Radcliffe College, or encourage Radcliffe College to modify its discriminatory practices, so that Harvard University will be in compliance with its non-discrimination policy.

CLUH would like to remind the Harvard community that:

. Harvard severed ties with the final clubs because these clubs discriminated.

.Harvard has declared that it will either sever ties with, or change its relationship with ROTC, because that organization discriminates.

. Harvard requires in all constitutions of student organizations a statement that "Membership in [the] organization shall be open to all students in good standing currently enrolled in Harvard College, regardless of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, or physical disability."

CLUH insists that the same logic that applies in these cases holds true in the case of Radcliffe College. CLUH is aware that many of the programs at Radcliffe are in fact open to men and that Radcliffe has been making a conscientious effort to encourage men to participate in its co-ed programs. However, there are still important portions of Radcliffe to which men are systematically denied access.

Harvard became a co-ed institution in 1977. It is time to insist that Radcliffe do the same. Director CLUH

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