There’s a revolt breaking out at Harvard — and this time it appears students are actually light years ahead of their oh-so-politically-trendy administration.

Harvard President Drew G. Faust announced in an email last Friday that, starting with the freshman class entering in 2017, undergraduates who participate in single-gender clubs — fraternities, sororities or the university’s famous “finals clubs” — will be barred from captaining athletic teams or leading other student organizations. They would also be punished by not getting official school endorsements for fellowships.

So join a single-gender finals club (there are eight all-male and six all-female clubs) and kiss that Rhodes Scholarship goodbye.

Faust in her message noted that while the clubs “are not formally recognized by the College [emphasis ours] they play an unmistakable and growing role in student life, in many cases enacting forms of privilege and exclusion at odds with our deepest values.”

And so in her over-arching attempt to make “Harvard a campus for all of its students,” Faust has now managed to outrage many of the female students she thought she was sheltering from the ravages of what Dean Rakesh Khurana called “spaces [that] send an unambiguous message that they are the exclusive preserves of men.”

Yes, on Monday some 200 women of Harvard took to Harvard Yard to tell the administration just what a lunatic policy it was about to embark on.

Reporting on the Monday rally, the Harvard Crimson noted that a number of speakers and demonstrators emphasized that the policy made them feel less safe.

Rebecca J. Ramos, an organizer of the rally, said the policy had “taken away our place to speak openly about women’s issues and actively empower each other and other women, and in doing so, they effectively turn back the clock on all of our progress.”

And, she added, “By removing … spaces for women, Harvard is making our campus less safe for women.”

Ah, the law of unintended consequences.

The notion of a university administration telling students who they can associate with off campus is appalling enough. Good for the women of Harvard for telling the administration they’d really like their First Amendment rights back.


(c)2016 the Boston Herald

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