A Response To Harvard's "Bad Decision" To Penalized Gender-Exclusive Organizations
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

A Response To Harvard's "Bad Decision" To Penalized Gender-Exclusive Organizations

An all-around complicated issue

11
A Response To Harvard's "Bad Decision" To Penalized Gender-Exclusive Organizations

A week ago, a fellow Odyssey writer published an article criticizing Harvard University's decision to place certain restrictions on members of Final Clubs, fraternities and sororities. While I do agree that the decision was rash, unfair and just plain wrong, it is important to understand the reasoning behind it which, though flawed, is noble.

First of all, Harvard is an elite place. Coming from a rather average background, I feel at times shut out from the social scene because I'm not "in on" the Final Clubs or frats and sororities. Especially concerning Final Clubs, I am aware that their rich and well-connected members don't want me in their organization. It becomes a bit more complicated when we consider frats and sororities. They are less exclusive than Final Clubs (though still single-gendered), yet the dues required present financial barriers for a lot of students.

Secondly, sexual assault is a big problem at Harvard. Of the 27 universities that participated in the recent alarming study on sexual misconduct, Harvard had the highest participation in the study, as well as one of the highest rates of sexual assault for women(31 percent). That is about one in three women. Other evidence indicated a fair portion of these cases occurred in Final Clubs and other "unaffiliated single gender organizations."

So let's look at what we have, which is surely a condensed summary. These unaffiliated gender-exclusive organizations at Harvard turn away many people, not only due to their gender but due to their background, wealth, etc. In addition, sexual assault is a major problem that students clearly consider serious enough through responding to surveys in large numbers. The gender-exclusive organizations have been directly implicated in these allegations.

Where do we go from here? Clearly, the university's administration saw fit to introduce sweeping punishments and restrictions. I do not agree that their argument for this decision "doesn't make sense," as the author of last week's article put it. The problems of exclusivity and sexual assault are both tied up in frats, sororities, and Final Clubs, and it is fair, not nonsensical, for them to try and address both issues. However, as I said, I believe, disregarding that the decision will not adequately address the problems, it is horribly unfair to those individuals who join these clubs for the fun and social enjoyment, which is not a minority in the slightest.

I believe in freedom of association, I believe that social organizations serve a purpose, and I believe that most who join these clubs form wonderful friendships, amazing support systems, and lifelong happy memories. But again, we have to ask ourselves, what are we going to do about the issues at hand?

Okay, the administration's solution is flawed, not because of the intent, but because of the implementation. Yet, we cannot ignore these very serious issues just because we wish to keep safe spaces for women or fun hang-outs for social gatherings. Perhaps we could bar these organizations from certain university-sponsored events. Perhaps we could force them to conduct more community outreach and interact with all students on campus. Now, I am not Drew Faust. I do not know college policy. But I do know that blaming her for the idea and effort is hardly constructive.

In sum, the world is moving away from organizations like fraternities or sororities, or Final Clubs. They segregate people based upon factors that, if we want a truly equal environment, are unacceptable. Does this mean we act harshly and install sudden punishments? Not at all, which is why Harvard made the wrong decision.

The actions we need to take must be directed at the problems of exclusivity and wealth disparity, not freedom of association. It's a tough road, but we must come together and figure out a way to solve these issues without directly harming many innocent students.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
The 100 Things Millennials have ruined: A Comprehensive List
http://www.factandmyth.com/the-middle-class/are-mi...

Millennials: the generation everyone loves to hate. The babies of 1980 to 1995 take a lot of heat. I mean, we inherited a crashed economy, earn stagnant wages, live with crippling student loan debt, and try to enact change in a rigged system but our affinity for avocado toast and use of technology has wrecked society as we know it! As a tail end millennial, I wanted to know what I was ruining and, like any other annoying millennial would, I did some research. I scoured the internet, read online newspapers and scrolled through every listicle I could find. So, in case you needed another reason to resent the millennial in your life, here are the 100 industries we've killed, things we've ruined or concepts we've destroyed.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Anxiety Doesn't Discriminate

This month, Odyssey brings about awareness & normality to conversations around mental health from our community.

2154
Anxiety Doesn't Discriminate

It's no secret that even in 2018 our country still struggles with discrimination of all kinds. Society labels individuals by the color of their skin, heritage, religion, sexuality, gender, size, and political beliefs. You are either privileged or you're not. However, here's the thing, anxiety doesn't care about your privilege. Anxiety doesn't discriminate.

Keep Reading... Show less
College Boy Charm is Real and it's Very Sexy
Disney

After surviving a year of college and watching "Clueless" countless times, I've come to the conclusion that college boy charm is very much a real thing and it's very very attractive. It's easiest explained through Paul Rudd's character, Josh, in "Clueless". The boy who has a grip on his life and is totally charming. In this article, I will list the qualities of a specimen with College Boy Charm, to help you identify him at your next party or other social events.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Tik Tok Stars: Worth the Hype? or Overrated?

As Tik-Tokers rise to fame, do their 'copy-cat' dances deserve the clout?

3994
Tik Tok Stars: Worth the Hype? or Overrated?
https://pixabay.com/photos/tiktok-social-media-app-tik-tok-5323007/

Oh, the wonders of social media. Trends come and go just as quick as a story on Instagram, everyone posting for their shot at fifteen minutes of fame, and the ever growing following of a new type of celebrity- social media influencers and content creators. Everyone who owns a smartphone probably has Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and now Tik-Tok, as it's growing to be a major social media platform for teenagers and young adults. Tik Tok became popular in the United States in late 2019 and since then has grown a considerable amount. Personally, I was one to make fun of Tik-Tok and say it was a dumb app like Musical.ly or Triller, and now months later, I spend more time on it than I do on Instagram.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Because self confidence is sexy

And as a woman, I want us all to love ourselves a little bit more today.

7525

Women have such high standards to live up to today. We’re expected to do and be so much. The great Tina Fey said “Every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes." This quote is not only hilarious, but also incredibly true! How many of you feel insecure every time you walk on campus, or every time you walk into a party? Even the girls you think are perfect are insecure. Everyone has flaws. Sure some flaws may be more exaggerated than others, but that doesn’t mean that the girl still feels bad about them. My point here is that it doesn’t matter how “perfect” you are, what matters most is how “perfect” you feel.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments