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Harvard Drops Anti-Fraternity PolicyRepresentatives of the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) and the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) have released a joint announcement that Harvard University has withdrawn its policy that placed unwarranted sanctions on members of fraternities and sororities simply because the students chose to join single-sex organizations. 

Pi Kappa Alpha is a member of the NIC, a trade association for college fraternities. The NIC has 66 current members, representing more than 6100 chapters at more than 800 campuses. The NPC is a trade association for sororities. There are 26 current members in the NPC.   

In 2018, Harvard University instituted a policy to punish any man or woman belonging to a single-sex organization. No member of a Harvard associated organization and/or athletic team will be permitted to occupy a leadership position within a Harvard organization or athletic team if that man or woman belonged to a single-sex organization. In addition, Harvard University associated fellowships and scholarships will not be awarded to any man or woman belonging to a single-sex organization. 

A lawsuit was filed against Harvard University on December 3, 2018, to challenge Harvard’s policy. Plaintiffs were a variety of fraternities, sororities, and individuals. Since 2018, Harvard has filed several motions to dismiss. Harvard’s motions were all denied. After failure on a pre-trial level to have the lawsuit dismissed, in consideration of other recent court decisions upholding the legality and rights of single-sex organizations, and on the same day after plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary or permanent injunction to prohibit Harvard’s enforcement of its policy, Harvard unilaterally withdrew all sanctions.     

Pi Kappa Alpha does not presently have a chapter at Harvard University. Although there is no formal decision in law, it is hoped that other colleges and universities will look at Harvard’s decision to cancel its policy, and decide the imposition of like policies are futile and will be met by strong opposing litigation.