On March 6, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted to include the College’s penalties for members of unrecognized single-gender social groups in the student handbook. With this vote comes the understanding that the sanctions have been officially codified. The sanctions also now have an enforcing body—the Administrative Board—to weigh all student violations.
Upon the unveiling of the implementation process last week, the Office of Student Life expressed an expectation that the Ad Board would be in charge of adjudicating all social group cases. Indeed, this Faculty vote has now made this expectation concrete. We are pleased by the fact that, as a result of this decision, the sanctions can now be implemented, and that some progress has been made in a nearly two-year-long saga of administrative delay. This is a welcome first step of conciliation, hopefully ensuring that students who choose to participate in single-gender organizations face defined consequences under the policy.
In accordance with what we have written in the past, however, we still do not believe the policy and its implementation process have been adequately explained to all undergraduates. Given the significance of the penalties, we stress that the College has failed to develop a complete and transparent policy. This is the unfortunate result of a nearly two-year-long process full of motions, votes, and committees that has left many students and faculty uncertain as to which groups the sanctions affect and how the implementation process will occur.
Thus, we expect further communication and transparency from the administration about the policy’s exact guidelines and enforcement mechanisms. One suggestion would be to hold required meetings or dialogues concerning the policy for all incoming freshmen during Opening Days. Additionally, it would be helpful to hold similar events to serve as reminders for all upperclassmen affected by the policy.
Additionally, while the Faculty vote is a large step in the right direction with concrete ramifications, the fight against two major issues cited by the administration in the development of the sanctions—exclusivity and sexual harassment—should not end here. As helpful as the sanctions may be in ameliorating these problems, they are still only one way to address them.
Therefore, we hope that any and all efforts to address these issues across the entire College—not simply those limited to the social organizations in question—not only continue, but also grow and improve. We expect the College to not only increase dialogue, but to take even more concrete steps. We hope that campus climate will ultimately measurably improve for the better.
This staff editorial solely represents the majority view of The Crimson Editorial Board. It is the product of discussions at regular Editorial Board meetings. In order to ensure the impartiality of our journalism, Crimson editors who choose to opine and vote at these meetings are not involved in the reporting of articles on similar topics.
Coaches Support Social Group SanctionsIn a letter to the editor Sunday, coaches of three prominent teams praised Harvard’s new sanctions against single-gender groups.
Committee Set to Consider Motion Against Social Org. SanctionsThe Faculty Council’s newly-elected docket committee is set to consider a motion filed last spring that some professors believe could prevent College sanctions against members of single-gender social organizations from taking effect.
Faculty Council Discusses Final Club, Greek Org. Sanctions
53 Percent of Surveyed Students Oppose Single-Gender Sanctions
Faculty Will Vote on Adding Sanctions to Student Handbook