I Stand Up To Harvard, And You Should, Too

I Stand Up To Harvard, And You Should, Too

Sororities, Fraternities, Students File Federal and State Suits that Challenge Harvard's Ban on Single-Sex Organizations

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A coalition of both male and female students are suing Harvard University in Massachusetts federal and state court over a campus policy discouraging private, single-sex organizations that blacklists students deemed to be members of single-sex sororities, fraternities, and Harvard-specific final clubs.

The federal complaint — filed by sororities, fraternities, and three unnamed College students — alleges that the sanctions constitute sex-based discrimination and violate federal anti-sex discrimination law Title IX and the United States Constitution. Harvard's sanctions — which took effect with the Class of 2021 — bar members of single-gender final clubs and Greek organizations from holding campus leadership positions, varsity team athletic captaincies, and from receiving College endorsement for prestigious fellowships like the Rhodes.

In the federal case, the plaintiffs are the international organizations for two sororities, Kappa Alpha Theta and Kappa Kappa Gamma; the parent groups for two fraternities, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Sigma Chi; Harvard's chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon; and three current Harvard students who are also members of all-male social clubs. The undergraduates are not named in the suit.

The plaintiffs in the Massachusetts suit are the international parent group of sorority Alpha Phi, Harvard's newly reinstated chapter of Alpha Phi, and a management company for chapters of sorority Delta Gamma. Harvard has "succeeded perversely" in eliminating nearly every women's social organization previously available to female students at the school. Almost all of its all-women social clubs have closed their doors or renounced their status as women's social organizations and become co-ed, according to the plaintiffs.

Being in a sorority myself, Harvard's decision to ban members of Greek life from even running for campus leadership positions or scholarships is infuriating. Harvard has erased these empowering women's spaces, and it has done so paternalistically, without the input of these women and to the devastation of their organizations. These organizations have either had to renounce their proud status as women's organizations or commit to admitting men, which disrupts the very mission of sororities and tramples on students' rights to freedom of association.

The fraternity and sorority experience on campus, or greek life, carries many meanings and reputations for people. The way fraternity and sorority members are portrayed in society is unfortunate, especially given the amazing things these students do each and every day. College greek life typically includes social, professional, and academic groups that offer their members and constituents a sense of community and a rewarding co-curricular experience. Many, if not most, greek organizations offer networking opportunities to their members long after their college years. Many greek organizations are heavily involved in community service. These organizations have shown their ability to impact many people's lives throughout various outreach programs and philanthropic events. The leadership and professional attributes that are being developed throughout greek life affiliation is one that cannot go unnoticed.

As sorority and fraternity men and women, we should stand up to Harvard on behalf of all students, because we all have the right to shape our own leadership and social paths. Harvard simply cannot be allowed to erase the spaces members value for support and friendship, or ban members from opportunities as a punishment for being in Greek life. Stand up to Harvard.

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Why You Actually Don't Want To Be Prescribed Adderall

ADD isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
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As I'm writing this, I can feel my concentration slipping. Noises have become enticing, I feel distanced from my phone, and every time someone walks by me in the library, I turn around seeing if it's someone I know. My extended-release Adderall is starting to wear off and my brain is starting to relax back to its natural state. My ADD is climbing out from underneath the blanket of focus I had for 10 hours today.

ADD is not all that it's cracked up to be. Sure, we get prescribed the precious Adderall so many people want, but at what cost? Let me put this in context for you. You know when you're at the library and there's a one really, really loud girl talking on the phone? You know the one. The girl that, for some reason, thinks it's OK to have a full-fledged conversation with her mom about her boyfriend in the middle of the quiet section. The girl that's talking so loud that it's all you can think about, occupying all of your focus. Well, that's what every single person in the room is like when you have ADD.

Distractions that are easy to ignore to someone without ADD are intensified and, instead of focusing on the task at hand, I'm listening to the girl three seats down from me eat her barbecue kettle chips. When you have ADD, it's not just schoolwork you can't focus on. You can't focus on anything. I tried to watch a foreign film one time without my medicine, and I forgot to pay attention to the subtitles. I realized about halfway through the movie that I had no idea what was going on.

What almost everyone that asks me for my Adderall doesn't understand is that I take Adderall to focus how you would normally. When you take my Adderall you feel like you can solve the world's problems. You can bang out an entire project in one night. You can cram for an entire exam fueled by this surge of motivation that seems super-hero-like.

You take my Adderall and ask me, “Is this how you feel all the time?" And, unfortunately, my answer is no. I'll never feel like a limitless mastermind. When I take Adderall, I become a normal human being. I can finish a normal amount of work, in a normal amount of time.

My brain works in two modes: on Adderall, and off Adderall. On Adderall, I'm attentive, motivated and energetic. Off Adderall, I can barely get up the motivation and focus to clean my room or send an email. And it's frustrating. I'm frustrated with my lack of drive. I'm frustrated that this is how my brain operates. Scattered, spastic and very, very unorganized. There's nothing desirable about not being able to finish a sentence because you lost thought mid-way through.

The worst thing that you can say to anyone with ADD is, “I think I should start taking Adderall." Having ADD isn't a free pass to get super-pills, having ADD means you have a disability. I take Adderall because I have a disability, and it wasn't a choice I had a say in. I was tested for ADD my freshman year of college.

My parents were skeptical because they didn't know exactly what ADD was. To them, the kids with ADD were the bad kids in school that caused a scene and were constantly sent out of class. Not an above average student in her first year at a university. I went to a counselor and, after I was diagnosed with ADD, told me with a straight mouth, “Marissa this is something you're going to have to take for the rest of your life."

When the late-night assignments and cramming for the tests are over, and we're all out in the real world, I'm still going to be taking Adderall. When I'm raising a family and have to take the right kid to the right place for soccer practice, I'm still going be taking Adderall. And when I'm trying to remember the numbers they just said for bingo at my nursing home, I'm still going to be taking Adderall.

So you tell me you're jealous that I get prescribed Adderall? Don't be. I'm jealous that you can drink a cup a coffee and motivate yourself once you lose focus. I'm jealous that the success of your day doesn't depend on whether or not you took a pill that morning. The idea of waking up and performing a full day without my medicine is foreign to me.

My brain works in two modes, and I don't know which one is the right one. I don't know which mode is the one the big man upstairs wants me to operate in. So before you say you want to be prescribed to Adderall, ask yourself if you need and want to operate in two different modes.

Ask yourself if you want to rely on medicine to make your entire life work. If I had a choice, I would choose coffee like the rest of the world.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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10 Ways English Majors Are Figuratively, NOT Literally, Ted Mosby

To write or to read, that is the question all English majors must face when working on homework.

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Rather you're an English major or lit major or a writing major, there are a few things that we all have in common. And if you watched "How I Met Your Mother," you probably related to Ted Mosby more than you wished to.

1. Restraining yourself for correct people's text

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It's you're not your and it irritates me to no end.

2. Not understanding the difference between an English major and an English writing or English literature major

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My friend from another school is an English major and I'm an English writing major. I still don't know what the difference is.

3. Having one grammar rule that you care a lot about

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Whether it be "your vs. you're," "affect vs. effect," or "literally vs. figuratively," there's a good chance you go crazy throughout your day.

4. Writer's block

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Especially because your grade counts on it. Although, it won't be fun when it turns into your job depending on it.

5. Having to write all genres in one class

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Even though you prefer one genre and hate the others.

I don't care for nonfiction tbh.

6. Workshops

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Not your best moments.

7. Knowing how impossible it is to have a favorite book

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It's like picking a favorite child... but worse.

8. Feeling bad when you forget grammar rules

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Are you even an English major???

9. People telling you your major is the easiest one

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I get it, but at the same time, we can have a lot of work to do. We just drown in papers, reading assignments, research projects, presentations and portfolios. I still prefer it to exams and labs.

10. Figuring out life

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Honestly, there's too many things I want to do for a career and I can't pick AND each one is under my major. It is a nice problem to have. But hey I can run away from making a choice until the time comes.

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