Sororities and Fraternities Sue Harvard University Over Single-Sex Organization Policy

Two lawsuits were filed earlier this week against Harvard University over a campus policy discouraging private, single-sex organizations. International sorority Alpha Phi, it’s local Cambridge chapter, and a housing management company that represents the Delta Gamma Fraternity sued Harvard in Massachusetts state court. The second lawsuit was filed in federal federal court by three anonymous Harvard students, sororities Kappa Alpha Theta and Kappa Kappa Gamma, and fraternities Sigma Chi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

The lawsuits call for an injunction to halt Harvard’s policy that punishes members of single-sex organizations on the basis that it violates rights to free association given by the Constitution and equal treatment based on sex from Title IX.

The policy, established in 2016, bars Harvard students who join single-sex organizations from leading campus groups or becoming captains of sports teams, and prevents their endorsement for prestigious fellowships. As such, it discourages students from joining single-sex social clubs.

Plaintiffs argue that the policy hurts women-led organizations more than it really addresses the problem of sexual discrimination on campus.

See KAPPA ALPHA THETA FRATERNITY, INC. et al v. Harvard University et al on Justia.

Additional Reading

Harvard sued by fraternities and sororities over single-sex rule, NBC News December 3, 2018

Photo credit: f11photo /