Harvard Men’s Soccer
Harvard men’s soccer team has been having an amazing season. The team has a 90% win percentage within its conference. They have ten wins and three loses this season overall. Plus, if Harvard continues its success through its next two games, the team will receive an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. There’s only one problem. Harvard wont be playing those next two games. In fact, Harvard wont be playing any more games at all this season.
Recently, Harvard officials discovered and investigated a sexually explicit “scouting report,” written by members of the soccer team. Originating in 2012 and continuing through 2016, this report rated members of the women’s soccer team on “their perceived sexual appeal and physical appearance.” The report was privately circulated between members of the team. Upon realizing that the practice continued beyond 2012, the director of Harvard athletics, Robert L. Scalise, canceled the rest of the team’s season.
According to The Crimson, “in lewd terms, the author of the report individually evaluated each female recruit, assigning them numerical scores and writing paragraph-long assessments of the women. The document also included photographs of each woman, most of which, the author wrote, were culled from Facebook or the Internet.” Additionally, “each woman was assigned a hypothetical sexual ‘position’ in addition to her position on the soccer field.”
Title IX Violation?
The members of the Harvard men’s soccer team are now facing more than just public shaming. In a separate article written by The Crimson, the “University Title IX Officer Mia Karvonides is working with the College’s Title IX office to respond to the ‘scouting report.'” Keep in mind, this is the same Title IX Officer who has been unable to explain her office’s standards to her students at Harvard. More than 20% of students at Harvard, according to a study done by Karvonides’ office, do not understand Harvard’s Title IX policies.
Harvard’s Title IX policy is certainly riddled with ambiguous and undefined terminology. Nevertheless, the policy clearly indicates at least one thing: the men’s soccer team is most likely in some serious trouble.
According to Harvard’s Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy, “commenting about” an “individual’s body” or making “lewd or sexually suggestive comments” can constitute a Title IX violation. Do these Orwellian policies extend to private,yet allegedly publicly searchable, internet circulations? You bet.
The jurisdiction of Harvard’s Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy extends throughout the entire universe. Sadly, you read that correctly. The policy uses the following language to describe its reach:
“This Policy applies to sexual or gender-based harassment that is committed by students, faculty, staff, Harvard appointees, or third parties, whenever the misconduct occurs: 1. On Harvard property; or 2. Off Harvard property, if: a) the conduct was in connection with a University or University-recognized program or activity; or b) the conduct may have the effect of creating a hostile environment for a member of the University community.”
As written by the federal government, Title IX states that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Harvard’s policy certainly seems to blur the content and intent of this statute. Nevertheless, only time will tell how the university handles this situation.