Steve Pinker responds to Harvard’s plan to restrict student membership in non-Harvard groups

Why Evolution Is True

This morning Greg Mayer posted a description and critique of Harvard University’s new plan to prohibit students from joining non-University groups that, the school thinks, reflect poorly on Harvard and its “mission.” Go read the article first, and then read this. Here’s a precis of what Harvard forbids:

Harvard students may neither join nor participate in final clubs, fraternities or sororities, or other similar private, exclusionary social organizations that are exclusively or predominantly made up of Harvard students, whether they have any local or national affiliation, during their time in the College. The College will take disciplinary action against students who are found to be participating in such organizations. Violations will be adjudicated by the Administrative Board.

One problem is that this plan is apparently being pushed through by Harvard’s deans and its President without any assent of the faculty as a whole. Although the plan was concocted by a…

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