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Harvard University announced plans Friday that would discourage students from joining final clubs -- off-campus organizations, many of which bar women from membership -- and unrecognized fraternities and sororities. Starting with new students next year, those who join these clubs will be barred from leadership positions in other student organizations and on athletic teams, and will not be eligible to be endorsed for top fellowships and scholarships. The move follows debate at Harvard, and a report noting that the clubs create an environment in which many students feel unwelcome and in which sexist treatment is common. “A truly inclusive community requires that students have the opportunity to participate in the life of the campus free from exclusion on arbitrary grounds,” said a statement from Drew Faust, president of the university.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education denounced Harvard's policy as "a stunning attack on freedom of association."