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Harvard Team Perpetuates Harassment, Forfeits Season

Courtney Cameron Headshot

The Harvard University men’s soccer team has forfeited the rest of the season after officials discovered the team participating in what has become a team tradition of sexual harassment targeting their female counterparts.

In the fall semester of 2012, the men’s soccer team circulated an explicit “scouting guide” which detailed a ranking system of the members of the women’s soccer team, complete with a physical description and conjecture about the athlete’s sexual behavior. According to the Harvard Crimson, the guide has been available via Google Groups until just recently.

University officials were perturbed to learn that the guide has been continued into the 2016 season.

In a mass email to all Harvard student athletes last Thursday, athletic director Robert Scalise wrote, “As a direct result of what Harvard Athletics has learned, we have decided to cancel the remainder of the 2016 men’s soccer season. The team will forfeit its remaining games and will decline any opportunity to achieve an Ivy League championship or to participate in the NCAA Tournament this year.”

Scalise felt absolutely justified in his decision, deeming it necessary in order to create an environment of mutual support and respect among student athletes.  “Harvard athletics has zero tolerance for this type of behavior,” he wrote.

Harvard president Drew Faust has shown public support for Scalise’s decision. “I also agree with his desire to engage the team in a systematic program of training and to use this experience to reinforce core institutional values across the entire Department of Athletics,” she told the Boston Globe.

As the team now finds itself with free time on its hands, Scalise intends to work with the Harvard Office of Sexual Assault and Response to educate student athletes about the gravity of the situation and the common standard of respectful conduct that is expected at Harvard.

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