While sexual assault in the final clubs is frequent to the point that almost any Harvard student knows a victim, I don't believe that's what the current brouhaha is really about.
What's most at issue are anachronistic male-only clubs that divide students between those who have wealth and connections, and those who fought their way to Harvard against all socioeconomic and racial odds only to be barred from even trying to enter the eight mansions that dominate College life.
A recent graduate vote overturned the undergraduates' decision, so the Fox will not invite women to join this year, though the current women will remain as provisional members.
A 2016 survey by the College catalyzed the most recent efforts by the administration to integrate the clubs, showing that 47 percent of female guests at final clubs experienced unwanted sexual contact.
“Sexual relations between students and faculty members with whom they also have an academic or evaluative relationship are fraught with the potential for exploitation,” the AAUP said in a statement.
“In their relationships with students, members of the faculty are expected to be aware of their professional responsibilities and to avoid apparent or actual conflict of interest, favoritism, or bias.
In 1794, France abolished slavery, Eli Whitney patented the cotton gin, and a clique of Harvard undergrads, dissatisfied with the paucity of meat in the College dining hall, roasted a pig.
This signaled the founding of the first final club: the Porcellian.
Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences now formally bans sexual relationships between professors and undergraduate students.
Seven more clubs emerged during the following decades, and in 2014 as a freshman I went to my first final club party. Alumni in club medallions smoked cigars beneath the taxidermied visages that decked the hall.
Aged pictures of their younger selves were pegged to the slanted ceilings—club men dating back to the genesis of photography.
In May, the College announced sweeping sanctions not just on members of the seven remaining all-male final clubs, but also on the five fledgling female clubs and Harvard's growing set of fraternities and sororities.
Students entering the Class of 2021 who choose to join single-gender social organizations will not be eligible to hold leadership positions on campus or receive the necessary College endorsements for sought-after scholarships like the Rhodes and Fulbright. In 1985, a newly co-ed Harvard demanded that the clubs accept women.