In First State Court Hearing, Lawyers for Harvard and Single-Gender Social Groups Spar Over Sanctions
Attorneys for Harvard and single-gender social organizations presented opposing views of Harvard’s contentious social group sanctions in state court on Wednesday afternoon.
A Congressional committee has approved a bill tying federal education funding to students’ freedom of association, threatening Harvard’s ability to enforce its controversial penalties on single-sex social organizations.
The Committee on Student Life discussed an assessment of the social group sanctions, preparations for the new Allston campus, and a prospective audit of student organizations’ “comp” processes in its first meeting of the year Thursday.
This is the first time that the College has formally documented a disciplinary process for student organizations whose members do not comply with the sanctions.
A judge ruled earlier this month that the federal lawsuit alleging the College’s social group sanctions are discriminatory will be moving forward with a subset of the original plaintiffs.
3 years have passed since Harvard implemented a set of sanctions against unrecognized social organizations — the university now faces a shifting social landscape and two lawsuits. Crimson reporter Shera S. Avi-Yonah describes the sanctions and RSO status in more detail.
The measure failed after 52.9 percent of voters — less than the two-thirds necessary to change the club’s membership policies, per the club’s governing documents — assented.
After its College student membership voted twice to go co-ed this spring, the Fox Club Graduate Association will meet May 14 to approve or reject the proposal, according to documents obtained by The Crimson.
Harvard filed documents Friday defending its motions to dismiss state and federal lawsuits alleging the College’s policies on single-gender social organizations are discriminatory.
The Dean of Students Office is requesting that members of Recognized Social Organizations complete an online survey as part of an “assessment” of the new club category, asking them to evaluate Harvard social life to give the College a better understanding of the organizations.
Dean of Students Katherine G. O’Dair said in a Tuesday interview that College administrators are “encouraged” by “strong student interest” in social organizations that recently adopted gender-neutral membership policies in accordance with College regulations.
Lawyers for the University filed two motions to dismiss the suits — one in state and the other in federal court — Friday evening. But according to analysts, Harvard’s arguments are unlikely to convince the judges to throw out the cases right away.
Lawyers for Harvard argued that state and federal judges should dismiss a pair of ongoing lawsuits alleging the College’s social group sanctions are discriminatory Friday evening.
Three unidentified College students who are suing Harvard over its social group sanctions in federal court will not be allowed to remain anonymous if the case proceeds beyond a motion to dismiss, a federal judge ruled Friday.
Harvard is arguing that plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit opposing the College’s social group sanctions are “premature” in requesting an order to protect anonymous undergraduates’ identities from public disclosure, according to a Monday court filing.
Asked about the sanctions lawsuits in an interview Friday, Khurana at least five times repeated almost verbatim parts of a previous statement issued by Harvard spokesperson Rachael Dane.
The pair of lawsuits challenging Harvard’s sanctions rely on unusual and in some cases far-fetched legal arguments — but it is too early to know whether the complaints will be successful, experts say.