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Preliminary Report of the USGSO Committee

Dear Harvard College Students,

I write to you today to share the news that the USGSO Committee appointed by Dean Smith in March 2017 has released its preliminary recommendations to the Harvard community.

I encourage you to read in its entirety the committee’s message to the FAS faculty below, and the Committee’s preliminary recommendations. The Committee has released this preliminary report in order to seek feedback from the community before offering formal recommendations to President Faust. Should you wish to offer feedback on the recommendations to the Committee at this point, please email the Committee.

As a reminder, the current policy will remain in place until and unless a change in policy is accepted.

Warmly,

Dean Khurana
Danoff Dean of Harvard College

 


Dear colleagues,

Building on the FAS faculty’s affirmation that student body diversity is essential to Harvard College’s pedagogical objectives and institutional mission, this USGSO Committee has formed a set of preliminary recommendations that articulate an aspiration to improve the educational experiences and social lives of all Harvard undergraduate students while they are on campus. Today, we write to share with you these preliminary recommendations.

Core to our stated aspiration is the need to diminish the role of final clubs, fraternities and sororities and/or equivalent exclusive-membership private social clubs on Harvard’s campus. This USGSO Committee fully endorses the goal of the May 2016 policy, which we see as fundamentally aligned with this aspiration. During our deliberations, however, we questioned whether the current policy was too limited in scope to achieve its stated goal, and therefore suggest that policies at peer institutions that preclude student participation in private social clubs be considered for adaptation and implementation at Harvard College.

In undertaking our work, our Committee met six times over the course of the spring semester, consulting with faculty, students, and the Harvard community broadly since March 2017. While additional faculty consultation on this preliminary set of recommendations will be conducted in the fall, for those faculty members interested in responding to the report immediately, you may use the USGSO Wiki page to share feedback. Alternatively, you may send an email to our Committee.

This fall, our Committee will continue our consultation process. We will hold open faculty discussions in the early weeks of the academic year, and direct feedback shared through the website, email, or additional faculty consultation will be taken into account in presenting our recommendations to Dean Smith and then to President Faust.

As you know, this Committee was convened with the understanding that the current policy remains in place until and unless a change in policy is accepted. As such, we underscore that our report is both preliminary and, even in its ultimate form, offers only recommendations for institutional consideration.

We look forward to further faculty consultation about the Committee’s recommendations.

Yours sincerely,

Suzannah Clark (co-chair), Professor of Music
Rakesh Khurana, (co-chair), Danoff Dean of Harvard College