Harvard has dropped its social group sanctions as a result of a recent Supreme Court decision on sex discrimination, University President Lawrence S. Bacow wrote in an email Monday afternoon.
In 2016, the College announced a set of sanctions against members of final clubs and single-gender Greek organizations, precluding students in those groups from receiving fellowships, athletics captaincies, and leadership positions in extracurricular groups. First applied to the Class of 2021, the sanctions received intense scrutiny and spawned a pair of lawsuits in state court and federal court.
Separately, the United States Supreme Court handed down a historic decision in Bostock v. Clayton County earlier this month, ruling that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination against BGLTQ workers.
Bacow wrote in his email that, after the Court announced its decision, the Harvard Corporation recognized that its reasoning might have significant implications for the social group policy based on United States District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton’s legal reasoning in his decision to deny Harvard’s motion to dismiss the suit in August 2019.