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National Constitution Center President Plans Debate on Social Club Sanctions

By C. Ramsey Fahs, Crimson Staff Writer

The National Constitution Center, a nonprofit that “seeks to illuminate constitutional ideals,” plans to host a debate at Harvard about the University’s new sanctions on final clubs and Greek organizations.

The event—which according to an email from NCC President Jeffrey M. Rosen ’86 would be co-sponsored by the Harvard Federalist Society and the American Constitution Society—would explore “the constitutional issues raised by sanctions on single-gender clubs and fraternities.”

Rosen, a George Washington University Law professor and contributing editor to The Atlantic, wrote that the three groups co-sponsoring the event have yet to nail down a date. Starting with the Class of 2021, the College’s new policy will bar members of final clubs and Greek organizations from leadership positions in recognized student groups and College endorsement for prized fellowships.

At least one Harvard affiliate has agreed, should scheduling permit, to argue against the sanctions at the debate. Computer science professor and former Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis ’68, a vocal opponent of the sanctions and signatory to a faculty motion that he says would strike down the historic policy, wrote in an email that he was aware of the planned event and would be willing to present his case against the policy. College spokesperson Rachael Dane wrote in an email that current Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana, who played a major role in crafting the policy, declined to participate because of scheduling conflicts.

While University President Drew G. Faust, and several other Harvard affiliates, publicly endorsed the policy after it was announced in May, many critics have continued to voice their opposition. Administrators involved in implementing the policy were met with a frosty reception at a preliminary town hall hosted in October.

—Staff writer C. Ramsey Fahs can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @ramseyfahs.

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