CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – On December 3, 2018, students at Harvard University, in collaboration with fraternities and sororities, filed a pair of lawsuits challenging the University’s sanctions policy that punishes students who join off-campus, single-sex organizations. The lawsuits describe, as stated on StandUpToHarvard.org, how Harvard, “used a campaign of threats and intimidation to scare students into abandoning their fundamental rights to free association and to live free of sex discrimination.”
A coalition of students, women’s, and men’s organizations state that through the sanctions policy, the University President and Fellows of Harvard have interfered with students’ rights to be free of sex discrimination, as guaranteed by Title IX and the U.S. Constitution.
Filed complaints against Harvard recount the campaign of threats and coercion in unveiling and implementing the sanctions policy and document the damage the policy has inflicted on social organizations.
The plaintiffs and lawsuits have garnered support from nearly 100 single-sex organizations, including the 26 sororities of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), the 66 fraternities of the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), and the organizations in the Cambridge Coalition.
Prior to the sanctions that punish students in single-sex organizations, one in four undergraduates belonged to sororities, fraternities, all-women’s, or all-men’s final clubs, all protected actions under Title IX and the First Amendment. As a result of the sanctions, members of those organizations have been stripped of opportunities to hold leadership roles in Harvard organizations and athletic teams, and opportunities to obtain post-graduate fellowships and scholarships directly influenced or controlled by Harvard.
The Delta Chi Fraternity supports the sororities, fraternities, and students challenging Harvard’s sanctions policy that punish participation in single-sex organizations. Although Delta Chi does not have a chapter at this specific university, it is critical for Greek and non-Greek organizations to stand together to protect members’ right to shape their own leadership and social paths. We can’t sit back and allow Harvard to set a precedent that could be followed by others. This policy blatantly infringes on the rights of Harvard students.
Join Delta Chi and many other organizations on social media by adding your voice to the support as we #StandUpToHarvard. You can learn more at www.StandUpToHarvard.org.