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Sanctions Review Committee To Release Recommendations in 'Coming Weeks’

University Hall.
University Hall. By Charles K. Michael
By Joshua J. Florence and Mia C. Karr, Crimson Staff Writers

A committee tasked with potentially revising the College's policy penalizing membership in final clubs and Greek organizations will share preliminary recommendations with the Faculty “in the coming weeks,” according to a letter from Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith.

According to Smith’s letter to Faculty sent Monday, the committee will also create and share an online forum for Harvard faculty members to post feedback on the committee’s recommendations after they are disseminated.

"A wiki page will be created to provide the Faculty with an online forum for feedback and engaged dialogue about the policy and the work of the committee,” Smith wrote in the letter.

Formed in January and composed of faculty, staff, and students, the review committee is currently assessing a policy which starting in 2021 will bar members of single-gender social organizations from holding club leadership positions and athletic team captaincies as well as receiving many post-graduate fellowships.

According to Smith, the committee “will plan for a number of substantive discussions” on its recommendations in the fall, though the policy will have already taken effect for incoming freshmen by that time.

Months of contentious faculty debate provided the impetus for the committee. Last year, some faculty members charged administrators with skirting Faculty governance, saying they had not been adequately consulted in the formation of the policy. In an interview last year, Smith called these accusations “categorically false.”

Following the creation of the committee, former Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis ’68 withdrew a motion aimed at blocking the sanctions against single-gender groups. Still, he said that if the committee produces recommendations he deems to be “without adequate revision,” he will reintroduce his motion.

Some faculty members have expressed concern that Khurana—the policy’s original architect—serves as a co-chair for the committee. During a Faculty meeting in March, Smith responded to these criticisms by saying that it did not make sense to restart conversation on the policy without conferring with Khurana on the matter.

—Staff writer Joshua J. Florence can be reached at Follow him Twitter @JoshuaFlorence1.

—Staff writer Mia C. Karr can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @miackarr.

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FacultyFaculty NewsRakesh KhuranaMike Smith