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Does Penn State’s Hazing Case Explain Why Harvard May Ban Fraternities?

Harvard University''s main campus

Harvard University''s main campus Harvard University | Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Harvard University is renowned for its centuries-old traditions. But America’s oldest university may break with one of those traditions if it decides to follow the recommendations of a faculty committee. According to Quartz, the committee advised the university to forbid students entering in the class of 2022 and beyond from joining fraternities, sororities, and similar organizations. They would also be prohibited from joining the university’s male-only final clubs.

The committee argues that exclusive student groups engender elitism, sexism, alcohol abuse, and other problems. Professors and students at the university have criticized final clubs, in particular. They contend that the student groups foster what Quartz characterizes as “an environment of intolerance.” Additionally, single-gender fraternities and sororities have found themselves embroiled in trouble at a national level. In the most extreme cases, the organizations have landed in the spotlight for cases involving student deaths.

It’s currently unclear whether Harvard will decide to follow the committee’s suggestions. Quartz notes that the decision requires the university to weigh preserving history against the problems social groups cause.

Unfortunately, Harvard isn’t the only school to face fraternity- and sorority-based tribulations. Read on the find out more about this national issue.

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