Recently, a 2016 rule went in effect for freshmen last year, discouraging them from joining single-gender clubs.
The rule stated that if they were to join a single-gender club, they would not be allowed to be a leader of campus groups or a captain of a sports team. This has resulted in two sororities and fraternities filing lawsuits against Harvard University.
Due to the lawsuits, the rule has been brought to the attention of the public and students are not happy. Sororities all over America are taking a stand, including here at the University of South Carolina. We're standing up for Harvard students to have the opportunity to be a part of Greek Life organizations because of what these groups provide for us.
They provide us with countless opportunities to get involved, better our schooling/careers, and the ability to meet influential people. They, more importantly, allow us to find a sense of belonging in college and form forever bonds with people. I'm not here to sell you on joining a single-gender group or club but I do believe that students should have the ability to make their own decisions about being in them without repercussions.
Being in a sorority myself, this is a topic that is extremely concerning. I do not see why being a member of a group that should be looked upon as positive is affecting people in a negative way. While there are the typical stereotypes that come along with being a Greek life member, these organizations are an extreme benefit for college students. They give us job opportunities, study sessions/materials to help with difficult classes, and leadership roles. So many students from universities all over the country feel the same way.
This has resulted in the formation of a petition, more than 60,000 people have signed it and college students are hoping it will make a difference in how Harvard values these organizations.
Along with the four Greek life groups, two male students are suing Harvard as well. They were not given leadership roles within the university because of this rule and the negative stigma it has created.
While sororities and fraternities are a big part of single-gender clubs, they are not the only ones being discriminated against. Acapella groups that are single gender also fall under this rule along with other social clubs which have no participation or have closed.
This rule has left students questioning Harvard's values considering that a good portion of these groups were created for women by women.
If you would like to get more information or take action by signing a petition, go to www.standuptoharvard.org.
You can help young men and women of Harvard have the ability to be engaged leaders on campus while still being a member of a social organization that can better them immensely.