September 20, 2016
Dear Harvard College Students,
I hope that you are settling into your classes after the whirlwind of Opening Days and Shopping Week. While we still have summer weather, the renewed energy on campus reminds me that a New England fall is just around the corner. I wanted to take the opportunity early in this semester to share with you the details of the Implementation Committee for the policy on membership in unrecognized, single-gender social organizations set forth by the College last spring.
Chaired by Dr. Doug Melton, Xander University Professor and Faculty Dean of Eliot House and Professor Kay K. Shelemay, G. Gordon Watts Professor of Music and Professor of African and African American Studies and Chair of the Harvard University Committee on Ethnicity, Migration, and Rights, the Committee will be composed of Harvard College faculty, staff, and students and is tasked with consulting broadly with the College community to address the following questions:
- What leadership roles and endorsements are affected by the policy;
- How organizations can transition to fulfill the expectations of inclusive membership practices; and
- How the College should handle transgressions of the policy.
The committee will also be responsible for recommending best practices to communicate the implementation of the policy to the College community. Finally, the committee will recommend ways to provide support to student organizations to foster an inclusive social environment. The committee will present its recommendation to the Dean of the College in spring 2017. Please visit the Committee’s website for further details.
Dr. Melton and Professor Shelemay both have strong ties to undergraduates at the College and care deeply about the College’s transformative mission, and they understand and recognize the importance of addressing your social experiences at Harvard. I am thrilled to have them lead this important work and believe their guidance will be invaluable as the committee meets during the 2016-17 academic year.
Together, the students, faculty, and staff that comprise the committee will embody the cooperative, diverse, and inclusive intergenerational community that sets Harvard College apart from other institutions. I look forward to their recommendations this coming spring.