Harvard University: Blacklisting of Final Club, Fraternity, and Sorority Students


Harvard University

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Case Overview


On May 6, 2016, Harvard University announced that members of independent, single-sex, off-campus organizations would be blacklisted from Rhodes and Marshall scholarships and banned from leadership of on-campus organizations or athletic teams. Starting in 2017, members of fraternities, sororities, and “final clubs” would begin to be denied these opportunities in an effort to foster “inclusion” and “address deeply rooted gender attitudes.” The organizations affected have been independent from Harvard since 1984, operate as off-campus entities, and do not receive any recognition or benefit from the university. FIRE strongly opposed Harvard University’s illiberal decision to sanction students involved in these organizations. On June 29, 2020, Harvard President Lawrence Bacow rescinded the policy in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County.