final clubs

Harvard bureaucrats seek to limit freedom of association of undergraduates

The Owl Club, one of the all-male "final clubs'' of Harvard undergraduates.

The Owl Club, one of the all-male "final clubs'' of Harvard undergraduates.

Adapted from Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in

The bureaucrats at Harvard University want to ban most private social clubs for students at Harvard College – “final clubs’’ (the most socio-economic “elite’’ organizations), fraternities, sororities and the like, alleging that they undermine an idea of “diversity’’ and foment discrimination. The bureaucrats would bar students who take part in these organizations from holding leadership positions at Harvard or getting recommendations for scholarships.

This attack on freedom of association (a sibling of freedom of speech) and on the ability to form close and lasting friendships will probably succeed:  After all, being a Harvard student is not obligatory. And, I might add, there are many other colleges where you’d get a considerably better undergraduate education than at Harvard.

To become good citizens, and leaders, students would do well to know people in as wide a range of society as possible. But they also need to be able to form bonds within smaller groups for the loyalty and mutual understanding people need. And if you’recompelled to be “friends’’ with everyone, you’re friends with no one.

Harvard College graduates will seek to join or form such groups when they move into the real world. Imperial Harvard will not succeed in transforming human nature.