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    Harvard’s crackdown on single-sex clubs meets with resistance

    FILE - In this March 7, 2017, file photo, rowers paddle down the Charles River past the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Several fraternities and sororities are suing Harvard University over a 2016 rule that discourages students from joining single-gender clubs. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
    Charles Krupa/File 2017/AP
    Several fraternities and sororities are suing Harvard University over a 2016 rule that discourages students from joining single-gender clubs.

    School is restricting students’ fundamental rights

    The administration at Harvard continues to believe that they can restrict fundamental rights of their applicants and students (“Harvard’s policy hurts women, lawsuits say,” Page A1, Dec. 4). This time, they are trying to punish anyone involved in a same-sex organization. Fraternities, sororities, and single-sex clubs have been targeted.

    Tens of thousands of students have benefited from these and many other clubs that students have created or joined during their college years. In fact, many alumni will tell you that becoming part of a same-sex organization gave them opportunities to grow and mature in a way that would not have been possible in the general population.

    Harvard, it is time to stop creating policies that discriminate against prospective and current students. I urge members of the community to support the Stand Up to Harvard organization. What the university is doing is not political correctness; it is bullying.

    Bill Casey

    Andover

    The writer, a 1981 graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

    Need for nuance here, as some clubs are more troublesome than others

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    While Harvard doesn’t want to be in the judgment game, its broad decision against single-gender clubs will hurt some students. Critical thinkers acknowledge the need for nuance. Instead of stepping back, the Harvard administration needs to step into the process of evaluating the single-gender clubs. It should distinguish between organizations designed to discriminate and those founded to encourage and support those feeling left out. Clubs created to cut students off from society should go. Clubs designed for support and community interaction should be allowed to flourish.

    Steffi Aronson Karp

    Waban