Faculty Council Will Vote on Allen Motion Again

{shortcode-8ae9946ae900beb42e2aa001fcf985b497967674} The Faculty Council will vote again on an amended version of Government Professor Danielle S. Allen’s motion on College social policy, potentially revising their unanimous vote of support for the motion last month.

The motion, introduced at the October 3 meeting of the full Faculty, seeks to apply the College's Student Handbook standards to campus social groups. By Allen’s interpretation, under these standards, members of all single-gender final clubs or Greek organization members would be considered “ineligible to continue enrollment at the College.”

Allen’s amendment to the motion adds the first use of the phrase “student organizations” to the following: “the policies of the Harvard College Handbook for Students for student organizations pertain to all student organizations recognized as such by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

The Faculty Council—FAS’s highest governing body—spent significant time discussing the Allen motion at their meeting last Wednesday, according to Council member David L. Howell.

At the October Faculty meeting, some professors questioned whether Allen’s motion was legally possible. Days later, Allen published an editorial in The Crimson arguing that her motion had been misrepresented and further clarifying its implications.


Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith said in an interview after the meeting that he did not know what administrative actions would result from the passage of Allen’s motion.

The current policy, originally announced in May 2016, bars students in unrecognized single-gender social organizations, starting with the Class of 2021, from holding club leadership positions or athletic team captaincies or receiving College nominations for certain fellows. However, this policy is subject to change and the source of intense debate at Faculty meetings over the past year.

Howell said the Faculty Council also heard a presentation from the Presidential Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging and considered proposals on advanced standing, cross-registration, and the timing of Faculty meetings next year, when a new class schedule will take effect.

—Staff writer Mia C. Karr can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @miackarr.


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