Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana announced Wednesday that a policy which introduced penalties on members of certain single-sex organizations – including final clubs, sororities and fraternities– last year may be reconsidered, according to a report from the Harvard Crimson.
According to the Crimson, Khurana stated that the policy could be “revised or replaced” by a committee comprised of faculty, students and staff. The committee, tasked with improving the policy, will study whether this can be achieved either by “changing aspects of its existing structure or through some broader revision,” and will present its recommendations in the fall of 2017.
In its current form, the policy — which was announced by Harvard University President Drew Faust in May of 2016 and goes into effect starting with the class of 2021 — prohibits members of unrecognized single-sex organizations from captaining athletic teams, holding leadership positions within official campus organizations or earning Harvard’s endorsements for prestigious scholarships like the Rhodes and Marshall.
In the weeks after the policy was announced, 12 Harvard professors submitted a motion in defense of the students likely to be affected by the policy.
“Harvard College shall not discriminate against students on the basis of organizations they join, nor political parties with which they affiliate, nor social, political or other affinity groups they join, as long as those organizations, parties or groups have not been judged to be illegal,” read a copy of the motion obtained by the Harvard Crimson.
According to the Crimson, Khurana’s announcement affords faculty an opportunity to alter the policy before submitting final recommendations to the College’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael Smith.
Harvard President Drew Faust will grant final approval for the potentially-reworked policy.