The university has declared that members of the all-male off-campus eating clubs will no longer be eligible for leadership positions on campus, including captains of sports teams. They will also be refused recommendations for post-graduate scholarships and fellowships. These restrictions will equally apply to all-female clubs and single sex fraternities and sororities. Presumably, the impetus for integrating the all-male clubs came from surveys and interviews with women who felt that an atmosphere of misogyny and sexual misconduct was re-enforced at these venues and since sexual assault is apparently a pandemic threat to women on campus, the obvious remedy is to alter the venue. It seems that Harvard students don’t read the classics anymore or they would have immediately thought of the Lysistrata solution for women to simply not attend gatherings, parties or any other events that take place at the offending clubs. Boycotts are popular at all the Ivies and they don’t require anything more than a signature on a petition and negative attendance - both of which students are good at. The boycott would guarantee zero sexual assault of women if no women showed up and before long, those lame-brained, horny men might figure out the problem and check their privilege without administrative interference.
But President Drew Gilpin Faust is out to change the campus culture to conform to the new demographic of the student body. This is longhand for saying that white privilege must cease and desist by fiat now that Harvard is importing more blacks and other minorities. But why stop with policing the students - how about extending the policy towards the faculty and threatening that no one currently living off campus in anything but a racially and economically integrated neighborhood will be eligible for tenure or references to other universities? Shouldn’t faculty and administration be proper role models for their charges? Better yet, shouldn’t all of them live in identical housing in order to decrease the competitiveness that is reportedly observed among students who are denied entrance to the male club parties unless they are members. Working and studying at Harvard should be a more democratic experience - everyone should live in co-ed dorms or town houses on campus to minimize the realities of life that will face the students as soon as they graduate and the faculty if they ever leave their ivory tower. Of course that term must be changed to ebony and ivory towers if all goes according to plan.
As for President Drew Gilpin Faust (I’m not sure if any of these is a first name), here is a link to the photographs and history of the Georgian estate on at least 10 acres that she occupies as her residence: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/elmwood (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
You can judge for yourselves whether this seems in keeping with Harvard’s new constituents and attitudes. One thing we can be sure of - everyone would agree that this grand and monumental edifice would make a very “safe space.”
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