Harvard University is seen widely as one of the preeminent higher-education institutions in the country. But away from the books, the college is taking a highly political stance targeting Greek life that only regresses its offerings to students and the country.
The school recently banned single-sex organizations. That means sororities and fraternities may cease to exist in the traditional sense. In fact, it’s already happening. Under the threats of sanctions from university officials, Harvard’s Kappa Kappa Gamma has disaffiliated from its national chapter.
Now, recruits can join Fleur-de-Lis, “a gender-neutral” group focused on self-identified females. The school newspaper, The Crimson, published an editorial in December lauding this forced change. Editors claimed it emboldens fraternities and sororities to combat the power and influence of all-male student groups on campus, referred to as “white, male, and affluent.”
Nothing champions diversity more than stereotyping on the basis of sex and race, I guess. One would have hoped scholars who’ve scored in the highest ranges on college entrance exams to understand that truth. Fortunately, some of them have. Three sororities have refused to comply with the new edict. Those strong-willed women, however, risk forfeiting the opportunity to captain athletic teams and becoming ineligible for campus leadership positions and school endorsements for academic fellowships.
Forcing People to Agree Is Just Plain Wrong
Props to those who resisted. Yes, there’s that word: resistance, the term championed by social justice warriors displeased with the current White House administration. Now, like karma, it’s coming back around.
Here’s a thought: if you want to focus on females, keep the storied sorority chapters that actually focus on females. Sorry to break it to the extreme Left, but there is no such thing as “gender neutrality.” There is, and always will be, just two human sexes.
Transgender activists often find themselves at odds with conservatives because many insist that respecting and loving a person requires agreeing with his or her views in every detail. That’s not true, however, and I’ve experienced this personally. One of my closest friends for ten years just transitioned from a female to a male.
It’s my friend’s life and decision, and the struggles my friend faced in making that choice came with heavy burdens. I remain this person’s friend because it is possible to exhibit inclusion and respect individual freedoms, no matter one’s beliefs. You can accept someone’s choices without being forced to agree with him.
During college, I was both a Tri Delta and a student athlete. Both entities taught invaluable lessons on camaraderie, friendship, and tolerance. It goes without saying that 40 young women in one room presents a fair share of disagreements. But that’s one of the beauties of Greek sisterhood. You learn to come together despite your disagreements, and shame on Harvard for trying to rip that apart.
Students Are Capable of Sorting This Out Themselves
I held leadership positions both in my sorority and athletic team. Having to balance those responsibilities ingrained a work ethic that’s lasted into adulthood. The young women who reject Harvard’s ridiculous social rules may not have that same opportunity.
I played soccer alongside a few lesbian teammates. Newsflash, Harvard: nobody in that locker room cared. We all cared about each other as sisters, just like sorority members do. According to the school, only dismantling sex-specific association can make possible what we accomplished naturally. What’s next? Will intercollegiate athletic match-ups now be called “gender-neutral?”
If that happened, wouldn’t Title IX, a federal law that states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance,” cease to exist? If there’s no basis for sex identification, then why have a law that’s expanded female athletics for the better part of 36 years?
Harvard should see the bigger picture from another angle, too. Look into the philanthropy these sororities and fraternities do for their communities. Tri Delta raised $7 million in 2015 for St. Jude Children’ Research Hospital. Kappa Kappa Gamma, the sorority Harvard’s chapter disaffiliated from, has chapters across the country. Some have partnered with Amazon to raise money for book donations, for their Reading Is Fundamental campaign. Harvard should be ashamed of actively trying to break apart young women contributing to great causes simply because they are women.
University officials plan on enforcing sanctions in late January or February, according to Campus Reform. While those sanctions remain undetermined, school officials should come to their senses and eliminate those sanctions entirely. Harvard can’t create a community of tolerance when the basis of doing so involves intolerance.