Defending Theta’s Right to Organize: Here’s How You Can Help

Category: Fraternity

Laura Ware Doerre

As president of the first Greek-letter Fraternity for women, I am proud of Theta’s long history of providing powerful spaces of support for women. For nearly 150 years, our Fraternity has offered women opportunities to experience leadership, friendship, mentorship, and community service. So I was stunned by Harvard University’s decision late this spring to begin blacklisting members of single-gender organizations, including women’s fraternities. From the responses I received to a blog post and email regarding this decision, many other Thetas had a similar reaction.

I hope you will be heartened, as I was, by this video, which was released on Monday by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). It powerfully explains why this attempt by Harvard to foster inclusion actually threatens students’ freedom of association while doing nothing to further its proclaimed goal of preventing sexual assault.

Be assured that we are determined to defend our right to organize as a single-gender organization and to promote the value of fraternity membership. We are committed to working collaboratively with not only our sister National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) groups, but also with like-minded professors, campus administrators, and lawmakers.

We need your help in this vital effort! If you have connections to US congressional representatives or senators, Harvard faculty or administrators, or Harvard’s governing boards, we ask that you forward their names and any contact information to Laurie McGregor Connor, Theta’s director of government relations. We will keep you informed about future developments and how you might assist as we progress.