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Viewpoint: Harvard’s Co-Ed Social Club Policy Damages Individuality on Campus

Where could this go wrong?

Tom Spurling

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College is known for its academics just as much as it is known for its partying. The ratio for each college between studying and reckless behavior varies from institution to institution, however it would be naive to think any college is completely sober. An aspect of the college experience that has managed to combine these two elements of school is social clubs and organizations.

Clubs like fraternities and sororities have been on college campuses for over a century in some locations and have stood a a pillar for social interaction and academic superiority. However as the movie “Animal House” reveals, not all social clubs value academics as much as they do partying. This attitude and behavior of social first and academics second has caused schools like Harvard University to look further into what these social organizations actually represent.

After multiple allegations of sexual harassment by male dominant organizations, Harvard decided to put their foot down on social clubs and create co-educational student groups. The idea behind this is for groups to integrate, or risk losing their charter and funding with the school.

Now, two years later, the Delta Gamma sorority has decided to disband their club from Harvard University rather than go co-ed. When asked about the move, president of Delta Gamma Wilma Johnson Wilbanks stated to the Washington Post, “We will continue to champion our right to exist on campuses everywhere. We believe the value of sorority is too great.” If this idea was to create a more inclusive and safe social environment, Harvard has clearly failed and only made their student body more on edge.

The sanctions put on by Harvard should not be labeled anything more than what they are, an attack on social clubs using the current sexual harassment movement as a front. Harvard had a problem with a select few of their male-dominated social clubs, and in return not only decided to punish all female groups, but go even further as to force men and women to combine their clubs or have none at all. This move raises more questions than answers.

Why after sexual harassment claims against male clubs by female clubs would the idea to put them together be smart? Why is it so horrible in 2018 to do anything with a group of individuals who have common interest as you? What good could come from eliminating individuality on college campuses?

The reason is nothing short of an attempt by an academic institution to create less of a social environment and more of an academic environment on their campus, which Harvard has every right to do.

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Tom is a student at Fisher College in Boston. Tom spends his time conquering video games and exploring his city of Boston. His favorite part of writing is the stories and hopes to tell them for years to come.

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