Harvard University, the holy grail for progressive elites, is the latest liberal institution to dismantle a treasured part of academia’s past — namely, Greek life on campus.
Alpha Phi, the last all-female sorority remaining at Harvard after it implemented sanctions on single-gender social organizations, finally buckled under the administration’s pressure last week, as Campus Reform noted.
“We want to ensure we are providing students [with] a deeply transformative experience — intellectually, socially and personally — that will prepare them for a life of service and leadership. Harvard College should and will set the standard for liberal arts and sciences education for the next hundred years. This is who we are. Our students leave here and exert ripples across the world,” said a statement from the dean of Harvard College, Rakesh Khurana, on the school’s website.
Harvard University’s “transformative experience,” however, seems to go hand in hand with authoritarianism, at least when it comes to adhering to the dogma of the Left.
The last sorority just disappeared from Harvard’s campus….https://t.co/SX3BSgZO1C
— Harvard_Club_MV_Alumni (@Harvard_MV) August 22, 2018
Based in Evanston, Illinois, Alpha Phi International issued the following letter in the wake of the sorority’s decision to shut down, as The Harvard Crimson noted.
“Alpha Phi International honored the request by the Iota Tau-Harvard chapter to suspend operations. Members of the Iota Tau chapter came to consensus on this decision on August 14, 2018.”
The letter continued, “This decision was made in direct response to the sanctions placed by Harvard University administration on members of single-gender organizations. The College’s policy, which took effect with the Class of 2021, bars members of single-gender clubs, fraternities and sororities from receiving a number of prestigious scholarship and fellowships or from holding leadership positions in recognized student groups and athletic teams … Alpha Phi was the last remaining member of the National Panhellenic Conference to cease operations following the policy change.”
They changed their name. They're alpha phi in history only, now. Fraternities and sororities have a legal right to single-sex affiliation. Harvard is a rich, affluent bully that discriminated against those in traditional Greek groups (see research) #ShameOnHarvard
— PhyllisSnapeFavorite (@PJFave) August 22, 2018
Renee Zainer, international president and chairman of the international executive board, weighed in as well.
“It is with deep sadness that we accept Iota Tau’s decision,” Zainer noted in the letter. “Its members were put in an untenable conflict, forced to choose between the opportunity to have a supportive, empowering women-only space and external scholastic and leadership opportunities.”
She added, ‘We continue to affirm the value of the Alpha Phi experience as a positive catalyst for women … It is our sincere hope future college leadership reaches different conclusions about single-gender organizations and the rights of its students.”
Just one year ago, Harvard had four sororities. Today, the university has none.
In its dogged aim to purge the past, though, Harvard is targeting more than sororities and fraternities.
The Harvard College administration recently forced the Harvard Glee Club, founded in 1858 and the oldest collegiate choir in the nation, to open its membership to women following the adoption of new rules.
The traditionally all-female Radcliffe Choral Society at Harvard, founded in 1899, is also subject to the new rules. Changes to the choral mainstays come under the leadership of Dean Khurana. LifeZette reached out to him by email for comment but did not hear back by publication time.
“In principle, progressives embrace moral relativism and absolute autonomy,” said Laurie Higgins, a cultural issues writer for the Illinois Family Institute (IFI) in Tinley Park, Illinois. As a consequence, they can “ironically impose their dogmatic moral beliefs” on others, she added.
The Alpha Phi group plans to form a co-ed organization called The Ivy, noted Campus Reform.
See more on this development at Harvard in the video below.
This is a very sad day for our National Panhellenic Conference Inc. Alpha Phi, the fourth and final Panhellenic chapter at Harvard has now closed due to pressure from the university.
The sanctions,… https://t.co/Ko1Eh95NVy
— FSU AXΩ Alumnae (@fsuAXOalum) August 21, 2018
Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.