Harvard dean’s next target: Banning all-male clubs and freedom of association

Friday, January 29, 2016 by

(Freedom.news) The political Left is rife with social change artists – men and women who, for reasons known only to them, believe their sole purpose in life is to impose their views on the masses, and to do so, hypocritically, under the pretense of liberty.

That’s the only way to explain why undergrad Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana would want to make his next mission in life to force the school’s all-male clubs to accept females, despite criticism that doing so is a blatant violation of the First Amendment’s freedom of association clause.

As reported by the Washington Free Beacon on Monday:

The dean delivered a “veiled threat” to graduate members of the clubs during a closed-door meeting last fall that “students who joined any of the clubs would be subject to expulsion,” one alumnus and graduate member of a final club said.

“He has as much as said, ‘This is what we foresee,’” the alumnus continued. “If the clubs don’t agree to these changes, harsher things will happen.”

The clubs are located off-campus and operate much like fraternities, but as the alumnus said, what Dean Khurana appears to be doing is implementing the “Amherst option,” a reference to the manner in which Amherst College banned off-campus sororities and frat houses.

So in other words at Amherst, and now Harvard, the freedom to associate with whom you want is no longer a constitutional right but instead one that is subject to the whims of a nanny statist, else your freedom to associate be banned altogether. Only the Left – which ironically decries as “right-wing extremism” any act intended to actually support and defend the Constitution’s founding principles – can justify such authoritarianism.

And Khurana attempts to do so. As the WFB noted, Khurana is claiming such gender-specific clubs are exclusive and elitist – at one of the most exclusive, elitist universities on the planet.

But even if they are “exclusive” and “elitist,” so what? The First Amendment’s “freedom of association” clause doesn’t come with exclusivity or elitism caveats.

He also says such clubs are not “appropriate” for Harvard, while failing to disclose how it is that he, and only he, is uniquely qualified to reach such a conclusion. Are Harvard students not smart enough to figure out for themselves what is and is not “appropriate” for them – or do they need Leftists like Khurana to decide for them?

In school publications Khurana has employed another tactic of the liberty-stealing Left – vagueness – when asked about his intentions. The WFB noted further:

Khurana has been vague in his public statements about the clubs, saying that nothing is “off the table” when it comes to compelling them to accept women. He would not rule out the possibility that administrators will make it against school rules to join the all-male final clubs in an interview with the Crimson.

More hypocrisy: It isn’t clear if Khurana is going to force all-women final clubs to accept males – or whether they he will go even further and just impose co-ed locker and shower room policies too

You know, to be more “inclusive.”

A couple of the final clubs have already acceded to this militant Leftism, the WFB noted. Two of the eight all-male final clubs, Spee Club and the Fox Club, say they will now accept female members, with the latter organization telling The Crimson that it was forced to do so by the administration. [Editor’s note: Shortly after deciding to accept women, the 117-year-old club shut its doors for good].

“Harvard University has applied tremendous pressure on all of the clubs to go co-ed. We now believe that our individual reputations and careers, as well as the reputation, autonomy and existence of the Fox Club going forward, are at serious risk if we do not act by November 1,” the club’s undergraduate officers wrote in an October letter to graduates.

In addition, the letter read that future association with gender-specific clubs will likely result in expulsion.

“Khurana has made it clear that when the University says final clubs must go co-ed … the University will promulgate a standardized plan mandating a specific process that all non-coed clubs must follow. Additionally, any student affiliated with a non-compliant club will likely be required to disaffiliate from that club in order to remain enrolled at Harvard,” the letter read.

It should be clear by now to any fair observer of modern American society and politics that the political Left has evolved (or devolved, depending on how you look at it) into a movement that is, frankly, not only anathema to our founding principles but to Americans’ culture and way of life. When something offends the sensibilities of a Leftist, their knee-jerk response is to banish it from existence – an act of intolerance done in the name of “being tolerant.”

Living in America does not require that you approve of everything someone else does, and our Constitution, when observed, does not command your approval. Rather, it does require your understanding of said action or speech or viewpoint as an individual right and not one that is subject to someone else’s preference or manipulation.

Increasingly, however, academic Leftists who inhabit our institutions of higher learning seem to have either forgotten these principles or, in their arrogance, have dismissed them. We believe it is probably the latter.

See also:

Washington Free Beacon

Boston Globe

The Crimson

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