About our Cause

It is time to stand up against this policy that tramples on students’ opportunities and restricts their rights.

By reaching into the private associations of Harvard students and declaring some of them to be, in essence, “suppressive persons” because of their nonconformity, you are, I fear, passing from creating a community to molding a monoculture, in which people of whom we have every reason to be proud are afraid to do or say things that are lawful.

Harry Lewis

Former Dean, Harvard College

Before Harvard announced sanctions that punish students in single-sex social organizations, one in four undergraduates belonged to sororities, fraternities or all-women’s or all-men’s final clubs—opportunities protected by Title IX and the First Amendment. Starting this fall, members of those organizations are, in a word, blacklisted—stripped of opportunities to hold leadership roles in Harvard organizations and athletic teams, and to obtain post-graduate fellowships and scholarships influenced or controlled by Harvard. This decision was made unilaterally and rubber-stamped by the self-selected Corporation board behind closed doors, ignoring protests from students, faculty, parents and organizations.

The impact on women’s organizations has been devastating. As a result of this policy, almost all of the once vibrant sororities and women’s final clubs open to Harvard women have either closed or had to renounce their proud status as women’s social organizations. After membership soared to record highs in recent years, Harvard has erased the organizations designed to create opportunities, resources and sustainable networks built by women for women.

Students deserve the right to shape their own leadership and social paths, and such decisions shouldn’t be dictated to them by administrators. Mandated conformity cannot be in the service or spirit of diversity. While Harvard’s stated mission is to “educate the citizens and citizen-leaders for our society,” under its paternalism, its first lesson is to surrender your rights.

On December 3, 2018, sororities, fraternities and students filed lawsuits in federal and Massachusetts court challenging the Harvard sanction policy that punishes students who join off-campus, single-sex social organizations. Learn more about the suits.

It is time to stand up against this policy that tramples on students’ opportunities and restricts their rights.

Supporters of Student Rights

National Panhellenic Conference

Made up of 26 member organizations, the National Panhellenic Conference is the world’s largest umbrella organization specifically charged with advancing the sorority experience.

North American Interfraternity Conference

Founded in 1909, the North American Interfraternity Conference is the trade association that represents 66 international men's fraternities.

Cambridge Coalition

A group of single-sex organizations both local to Harvard, as well as those with national affiliations.