Contradictions to the Truth
Harvard's motto is Veritas (Latin for “truth”) but we find a great deal of contradictions to truth in their words and this policy.
1.Through now-discredited statistical fabrications, Harvard first cited concerns over sexual assault as the reason for the sanctioning off-campus men’s and women’s student social organizations. Yet, Harvard’s own data shows that nearly 90% of non-consensual contact occurs in university-run dorms under Harvard’s direct control.
2.In sanctioning students’ legal, off-campus affiliations, the thirteen members of the Harvard Corporation now deny all Harvard College students the right to elect their own team captains and their own officers of on-campus student organizations. An inspirational member of a championship team may be the clear choice of her teammates for captain, but the Corporation will now prohibit, disallow, or override such a vote if that candidate belongs to a sorority or women’s club, even though the captaincy in question is for a women’s single-gender sports team.
3.Former Harvard President Drew Faust stated, “The single-gender social organizations are antithetical … in that they separate people out into small subgroups,” yet other Harvard-sponsored single-gender organizations do the same—like Harvard sports teams, the Black Men’s Forum, or the Asian American Women’s Association. Affinity groups help build community and help students find a home away from home.
4.When the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, responding to intense criticism by faculty members of usurpation by administrators of faculty authority, appointed a so-called faculty committee (with less than a majority of actual faculty members) to “review” the initial sanctions policy, he named as co-chair, Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana, the author of the original policy. The final report of the review committee intentionally misrepresented both the extent and result of its deliberations, falsely declaring that the committee of 27 members favored sanctions. In fact, as investigated and reported by The Harvard Crimson, only 7 members of the committee favored sanctions, whereas 12 members favored discarding the policy entirely. Both votes were taken after the full committee had failed to come to a resolution.
5.Drew Faust, the recently retired Harvard President who put the policy into place, herself benefited from the experience she would deny younger women of the current generation and beyond. She is as a graduate of Concord Academy—a women’s school at the time—and then Bryn Mawr College, a women’s college, for which to this day, she continues to serve as a trustee.
6.Similarly, the current Harvard President, Larry Bacow, benefited from the freedom to belong to men’s fraternity, the same fraternity he recently credited for its contribution to his success and recommended to his son.
7.Ironically, Harvard College’s Dean of Students is a sorority member and recent financial contributor to her sorority, even though punishing Harvard women for pursuing this path is now a major focus of her job. Likewise, Harvard’s Associate Dean of Student Engagement is a fraternity member, who proudly displays his Greek letters on his office desk, even though threatening with sanctions those Harvard College students who value this option now occupies a major portion of his time.
Make no mistake – this is sexism – as it has existed in the past but now in more insidious form, as it is now clothed in anti-discrimination verbiage and purported rationale.