Harvard proposal would ban fraternities and sororities

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) – A faculty committee at Harvard University is proposing a ban on all student fraternities, sororities and single-gender clubs.

The proposal would take effect for incoming freshmen in 2018 and aims to ban groups that the committee says have had a “pernicious influence on undergraduate life.”

Students found to have violated the rule would face disciplinary action.

The recommendation was announced Wednesday by a committee that was created in March to study whether new rules could make the university more inclusive.

It’s largely aimed at Harvard’s secretive all-male final clubs, which administrators say have problems with sexual assault and alcohol abuse.

The committee says a ban could prevent hazing and alcohol tragedies similar to those seen at other colleges recently.

It’s modeled after similar bans at Williams College and Bowdoin College.

Harvard has a handful of same-sex clubs, known as ‘final clubs’ and a handful of fraternities and sororities. Harvard has never officially recognized the Greek system but the proposal would ban incoming students from joining or pledging, even if the group is co-ed.

One fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, posted on Facebook defending their chapter, saying they are open to members of all races, creeds, religions, sexual orientations, nationalities and socio-economic backgrounds.

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