Harvard and the nine final clubs decided yesterday to break all of their ties, ending nearly a year of debate over the status of the exclusive all male organizations.
After Committee on College Life members met with the nine club presidents yesterday morning, the full student-faculty body drafted a statement recommending that the College facilitate this severance "as soon as possible."
Committee Chairman John B. Fox Jr. '59, dean of the College, said after the meeting that the divorce would be completed "in the relatively near future."
"[The clubs] prefer to go their own way," Fox told the rest of the committee. "They do not aspire to status as recognized student organizations."
Fox and Dean of Students Archie C. Epps Ill, the committee's secretary, said they will consult with "other members of the administration" as they proceed.
None of the club presidents could be reached for comment last night.
Yesterday's developments resolve the question the committee has been debating since last spring that of whether the clubs should receive benefits from the College, including University steam heat. Centres telephone service, alumni mailing lists, and sophomore housing lists, while they violate its anti discrimination policy.
Although the test of their response yesterday was kept confidential, the clubs apparently did not attempt to justify their admission policy choosing rather to sever their ties with the College.
Using only 40 minutes of the hour allotted for the subject on the agenda and debating only the wording of the statement, the 12 member committee, consisting of five students and five faculty as well as Epps and Fox, unanimously recommended that the College expedite the separation.
The final version reads: "The committee notes that the final clubs, after a review of the issues, have decided to revert to their independent status.
"The committee recommends that the College accept this decision and work to achieve this end as soon as possible."
Committee members emphasized the symbolic importance of the separation, which is not expected to cause major financial problems for the clubs and affects only a small segment of the student population.
"[Decades] have passed, times have changed, and [the clubs] are really a very small minority. This won't have the impact it would have had in 1918," said committee member Dr. Warren E.C. Wacker, director of University Health Services.
Some of the clubs may incur small financial losses when they convert to alternate heating and phone systems.