Dear College and Alumnae Panhellenic presidents,
Our right to sisterhood is in jeopardy!
Today, a group of sororities, fraternities and students—backed by the National Panhellenic Conference—filed a pair of lawsuits challenging Harvard’s sanctions policy that punishes students who join off-campus, single-sex social organizations. The mission of the National Panhellenic Conference is to advocate for the sorority experience by championing the opportunities for empowerment and development made possible through women’s organizations like the 26 sororities that make up NPC.
We must stand together to protect members’ right to shape their own leadership and social paths and preserve the sorority experience for current members and future generations.
Harvard boasts its students are among the brightest minds in the world, yet it is baffling the administrators won’t trust those students to make decisions about how they choose to associate with one another.
Before Harvard announced its policy, one in four undergraduates belonged to sororities, fraternities or all-women’s or all-men’s final clubs—opportunities protected by Title IX and the First Amendment. Starting this fall, members of our organizations are, in a word, blacklisted—
stripped of opportunities to hold leadership roles in Harvard organizations and athletic teams, and to obtain post-graduate fellowships and scholarships influenced or controlled by Harvard.
The impact on women’s organizations, in particular, has been devastating. Almost all of the all-women’s sororities and final clubs at Harvard have either closed or had to renounce our proud status as women’s groups and commit to admitting men. After membership soared to record highs in recent years, Harvard has erased our empowering women’s organizations designed to create opportunities, resources and sustainable networks built by women for women.
We can’t sit back and allow Harvard to set a precedent that could be followed by others. This policy blatantly infringes on the rights of Harvard students.
We need you! Share social media posts from NPC and your member organization to add your voice to the support as we STAND UP TO HARVARD. Learn more at standuptoharvard.org.
Carole J. Jones
NPC chairman 2017-19