A faculty committee at Harvard University recommended a ban on single-gender clubs by the fall of 2018. It would mean goodbye to fraternities and sororities which are a tradition in the university. The proposal would cover co-ed groups.

The committee, assigned to change the single-gender social groups at Harvard, released on Wednesday a 22-page report. The new policy would mean Harvard undergraduate students can no longer join final clubs, fraternities, or sororities and other similar private social organizations exclusively or predominantly composed of Harvard students, The New York Post reported.

Disciplinary actions against violators

The ban would cover social organizations that have a local or national affiliation.

Disciplinary action will be imposed on a student of the university who participates in these groups, often Greek-letter societies. According to The Crimson, the school newspaper of Harvard, the aim of the policy is to phase out those organizations by May 2022.

The report, however, stated that all students that are currently enrolled, including those who would matriculate this fall, will be exempt from the new policy during their entire time at the university. The exemption is part of the transition period as Harvard phases out the fraternities and sororities.

To serve as models of institutions with no such social groups are William College and Bowdoin College which have banned undergraduate students from participating in social clubs. Ahead of the total ban, Drew Faust, the president of Harvard University, banned in May 2016 the members of single-gender social organizations from holding certain leadership posts in the university.

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Against educational mission and principles of Harvard

The report said the committee had reservations about the goal of the policy if ending gender segregation and discrimination is too narrow. Even if these organizations would adopt gender-neutral membership, the committee believes that myriad practices of these groups that are against the educational mission and principles which Harvard espouse would still remain.

One implication of the proposal would be students will not be required to sign an affirmation of awareness of the College’s policy which critics of the policy compared to an oath. Not all faculty members agree with the method of enforcement of the planned policy. David Haig, a biology professor, filed in March a faculty motion that criticized the enforcement method.

According to Greek Rank, there are five fraternities in Harvard. These are the Alpha Epsilon, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Kappa Sigma, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and Sigma Chi.