Social Group Sanctions
Two Harvard College students suing Harvard over its sanctions against unrecognized single-gender social groups will be allowed to move forward with their lawsuit using pseudonyms, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.
A Suffolk Superior Court judge denied Harvard’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit slamming the University’s sanctions against single-sex organizations on January 9.
Though Harvard first announced its sanctions policy three years ago, the College has not yet decided whether to subject some student groups — including House Committees and Diversity Peer Educators — to the penalties.
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.
United States Rep. Elise M. Stefanik ’06 denounced Harvard’s social group sanctions as discriminatory and argued in favor of legislation protecting college students’ freedom of association during a committee hearing Wednesday.
The Harvard Athletics Department will use an “honor system” to implement the College’s sanctions on members of certain single-gender social organizations, outgoing Athletics Director Robert L. Scalise said in an interview Friday.
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.
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.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that could imperil Harvard College’s social group sanctions Wednesday.
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.
The Committee on Student Life granted the Seneca provisional recognition as an Independent Student Organization in fall 2018, a change from its former status as a Recognized Social Organization.
Senator Michael K. Braun wrote that he hopes Harvard “reconsiders” its sanctions on single-gender social organizations in an open letter to the University earlier this month, writing that the policy constitutes a “senseless decision” that is “harming” students.
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.
Plaintiffs in the social group lawsuits rejected Harvard’s Feb. 8 motions to dismiss their state and federal complaints and asserted the legal merits of their arguments in Friday court filings.
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.
Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana said in a Friday interview he is “pleased” with the recent progress students have made in transitioning their social organizations into compliance with the College’s social groups policies.
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.