The name of Radcliffe Institute should not be changed

The name of Radcliffe Institute should not be changed

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Helene Kisch Pniewski started this petition to Dean Brown-Nagin, Harvard President Bacow

The Radcliffe Institute has recently been subjected to a name change, making it the Harvard Radcliffe Institute. This change occurred without any public announcement to many interested parties, including men of Harvard as well as women of Radcliffe. Despite numerous appeals to the Dean  and the President, they have responded only with formulaic explanations, calling the change "vernacular shorthand" and "rebranding," reassuring us that this is in the best interests of the Institute.    

This response is oblivious to the history of Radcliffe college and of the Radcliffe Institute and seems to once again relegate women to second-class educational citizenship, reminiscent of earlier times when women were prohibited from attending classes at Harvard and instead were given their own separate classes and later still subject to various indignities of gender apartheid. Despite many positive advances with the Radcliffe Harvard merger (parity in admissions, in allocation of resources) this un-naming of The Institute recreates the historic devaluation of women and their institutions. We fear it signifies the beginning of The Descent Into Obscurity of the name and significance of Radcliffe.

The solution is simple.  Retain the name as the Radcliffe Institute, honoring it as the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard

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