A coalition of fraternities and sororities are suing Harvard University over a 2016 ruling that bars members of same-sex clubs from holding leadership positions on campus or being captains of sports teams and denies college endorsements for any prestigious fellowships.
The plaintiffs filed two lawsuits, one in a Massachusetts court and one in federal court, alleging that Harvard’s policies are “...sexist in the extreme” because the policies violate anti-sex discrimination law Title IX and the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuits further allege that Harvard discriminated against students based on sex and discourages students from joining same-sex clubs.
The plaintiffs in the Massachusetts suit is the national organization Alpha Phi, Harvard’s Alpha Phi chapter, and a management company for chapters of Delta Gamma. For the federal case, the plaintiffs are Kappa Alpha Theta and Kappa Kappa Gamma; the parent groups for Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Sigma Chi, as well as Harvard’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and three anonymous Harvard same-sex club members.
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“The common thread that ties together all of Harvard’s ever-shifting justifications for the sanctions policy is sexism,” the federal lawsuit states. “Harvard’s views that all-male organizations cause sexual assault because they are all-male and that there is no value to all-female or all-male organizations, are sexist in the extreme.”
The federal lawsuit argues that part of the discrimination lies with Harvard’s policies of not limiting the other types of groups students can join, saying that students could join “...the American Nazi Party, or could create an off-campus undergraduate chapter of the Ku Klux Klan,” without violating school policy.
"Harvard has really shown a disregard for the rights of its students to associate with people they want to associate with," attorney David A. Russcol, a lawyer for the federal case, said, according to the Harvard Crimson. "What they do off campus shouldn't be any of Harvard's business. It's disappointing that the plaintiffs have had to take this ac
Read more: https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=11600