The College's May 2016 penalties to members of single-genre final clubs and Greek organizations will remain in effect after the Harvard Corporation voted to keep the policy unchanged on Monday.
In a historical intervention in undergraduate social life, the Corporation, the highest governing body of the University, formally voted to adopt the policy and ended more than a year of contentious debate on sanctions. The vote of the 13-member governing body is intended to ensure that the policy will remain in place during the term of the next Harvard president, who will take office in July 2018.
The president of the university, Drew G. Faust , which serves in the Corporation the decision of the Corporation to the Faculty during its monthly meeting on Tuesday afternoon. He also sent a letter on Tuesday to the Harvard affiliates, signed by William F. Lee & # 39; 72, principal investigator of the Corporation, who described the decision of the Corporation.
"We can not ignore the responsibility we have in relation to the experience of our students in these adjustments and their effect on the community in general," wrote Faust and Lee in the letter. "The USGSO has a very different relationship with the campus than it was a generation ago, and you can not seriously question whether the overall impact is negative."
"We proceed with the hope that the existing policy is powerful." The social group policy, which came into force with the Class of 2021, prohibits members of social groups of a single gender from holding leadership positions in the campus, serve as captains of college sports teams or receive a college degree. endorsement for prestigious postgraduate scholarships.
[Confused about the status of Harvard’s social group policy? Read an explanation here.]
The maintenance of sanctions was one of three options before Faust and the Corporation for the future of undergraduate social careers at Harvard. In January, after the Faculty retreated to politics and the way it was drawn up, the College formed a committee to study "whether the policy can be improved, either by modifying aspects of its existing structure or through a broader review."  The committee finally recommended three possible options: maintain the current set of sanctions for members of the final clubs of a single gender and Greek organizations, prohibit membership in the groups, or consider an undefined set of alternatives.
The Corporation also voted on Monday to demand a comprehensive review of the policy, which will take place in approximately five years. The permanent Student Life Committee, a group of students and professors, will also make "periodic and intermediate reports" to the members and administrators of the Faculty, according to the letter of Faust and Lee.
The work of the standing committee "will ensure that the College has an ongoing understanding of how the undergraduate experience is evolving in the light of politics," wrote Faust and Lee. The couple wrote in their letter that they "recognize that the existing policy may not be effective in addressing all aspects of the problems identified through the careful work of the committees convened in recent years."
The Corporation's decision comes in the midst of Harvard's ongoing search for its 29th president, which began shortly after Faust announced his plans to resign. In their letter, Faust and Lee wrote that the Corporation acted in part to ensure that Fausto's successor could not alter the sanctions of the university's social group.
"The decision announced today does not depend on the occupant of Massachusetts Hall," wrote Faust and Lee.
When the Corporation reviewed the three possible paths, it discussed all possibilities with the Harvard lawyers, according to the letter.
"The questions posed by the USGSO imply a range of fundamental institutional interests," wrote Faust and Lee. "All the options under consideration, including maintaining the status quo, presented a set of legal considerations that require advice from a lawyer."
The College's social group policy came into effect this fall with the arrival of the Class of 2021, but administrators said that pending a finalized policy before imposing punishments on members of single-gender groups.
With the sanctions completed, the Office of Student Life can now begin to work to enforce the policy of the social group. Faust and Lee did not specify a plan or timeline for implementation in the letter.
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