David R. Friedrich, the College’s associate dean of students, said he has met with leaders of single-gender final clubs and Greek organizations to discuss the possibility of the groups becoming “inclusive” social organizations.
“We continue to have individual conversations—and doors open—to all the groups that have been, to this point, USGSOs, and we want to be able to talk with them with their own specific circumstances,” Friedrich said. “All of these groups are in different places in how they’re thinking about this policy and any potential changes they might consider.”
In May 2016, the College announced a historic policy penalizing members of single-gender final clubs, fraternities, and sororities. Starting with the Class of 2021, members of these groups may be ineligible for certain scholarships, fellowships, and leadership positions across campus.
The committee tasked with recommending steps for the policy’s implementation has released their suggestions, but a faculty committee—with both Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana and Dean of Students Katherine G. O’Dair among its members—now stands to potentially undo it.
O’Dair described her role on the faculty review committee as listening to the perspectives of both faculty and students on the policy. Across the College, the penalties have been polarizing, with some lauding Harvard’s efforts to curb gender discrimination and others criticizing the policy for including all-female groups.
“I absolutely see my role as, in particular, thinking about the student experience and what it will look like,” O’Dair said.
The review committee will analyze whether the proposed penalties “can be improved, either by changing aspects of its existing structure or through some broader revision,” and will submit its final recommendations to Michael D. Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.—Staff writer Kenton K. Shimozaki can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @KentonShimozaki.
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All-Female Social Groups May Keep ‘Gender Focus’ for at Least Three Years