Greek life organizations respond to Harvard ruling

This week, Harvard University officials announced sanctions for undergraduates in same-sex organizations.

According to newly published, students would be “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.”

The ruling was supposedly made behind closed doors, ignoring protests from students, faculty, parents and organizations. The controversy has sparked discussion nationally too, with the hashtag #standuptoharvard trending on Twitter the past few days.

The decision could mean more than meets the eye, as people online have pointed out. If allowed to proceed, it could open the door for similar sanctions to be applied at other institutions. The opinions below from students in Greek life are merely those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of the organization or chapter as a whole.

Courtney Hoover, business management junior (Alpha Phi) | “The overall situation is saddening. I have first hand experience on just how great being in Greek Life can be, and how much it can impact an individual. I have been able to learn leadership skills and valuable life lessons that, if anything, would make me more qualified to be in a position of authority on campus. I stand with my Alpha Phi sisters at Harvard, and truly hope their chapter gets through this.”

Hayes Hooper, political science sophomore (Sigma Nu) | “Greek Life provides opportunities unavailable elsewhere on campus. I can’t imagine what my college experience would be like without my brothers, and I think it is unacceptable for a private institution to infringe First Amendment rights. Period.”

Alyssa Dimmick, finance sophomore (Gamma Phi Beta) | “The way Harvard is punishing students for being apart of a single gender organization is unfair and unjust. I value my membership in my sorority and would not have such an enriching college experience with out it.”

Mayson Barton, computer science freshman (Kappa Alpha Order) | “This is just another example of people not involved in Greek life trying to ban it, except this time they are also infringing on peoples First Amendment rights.”

Riley Carr, nursing junior (Sigma Nu) | “When I first heard about the Harvard incident it sounded like another school was just trying to get rid of Greek life. However, as I started reading further I found it was much more than that. It was a schools attempt to threaten and harass these organizations until they either go co-ed or disband entirely. The fact that Harvard is allowed to bar anyone from holding leadership positions on campus or from receiving scholarship money for post-graduate endeavors just because they are in a single gender organization is ridiculous and frankly unconstitutional.”

Steven Ehlert, criminal justice senior (Tau Kappa Epsilon) | ”In this day and age, Harvard’s decision is beyond unacceptable. I am in a fraternity, and stand by the people who are standing up against the issue.”


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