More than 150 students crowded the Harvard Advocate Friday night for an introductory party of the new co-ed social club Philos.
Philos, which bills itself as the only club of its kind recognized by the College, sponsored the three-hour party as part of its effort to provide an alternative to the Harvard social scene, said club president Eric I. Schwelling '94.
Students in attendance said the party attracted a wide variety of students.
"I liked it a lot," said Lydia E. Matesic '94, who recognized several members of her first-year proctor group at the gathering. "I saw a lot of people who spanned many classes."
Some students said they were surprised to see a police officer in attendance as well as strict observance of College alcohol policy. Hand stamps identified those students of legal drinking age.
Schwelling said the large attendance was noteworthy because posters in the houses mistakenly said the party would be held on Saturday, the event was never advertised in the Quad and reading period was expected to keep many students at home.
The College officially recognized the club earlier in the semester and the Undergraduate Council granted money to the social club last month.
In advertisements in campus publications, club organizers have emphasized the contrast between the College sanctioned, co-ed Philos and the nine all-male final clubs, which are not recognized by the administration.
Written on the back of club t-shirts are the words, "Philos--where men and women come together."
"We're non-discriminatory," Schwelling said. "Anyone can join."
Schwelling said the club's next goal is to find a permanent building. In the meantime, Philos may meet in the Leverett House Grill, which has a large screen TV, video games and food.
Philos plans to sponsor barbecues, dances, community service projects and road trips in the future, Schwelling said.
Philos has established an executive board, but will not collect its $35 annual dues until the spring. Schwelling said he estimates that 30 people who have attended meetings so far will become official members.
"I really don't know what to anticipate as far as interest, but I've talked to a lot of people and they seemed very receptive," said Schwelling. "They felt that Philos filled a needed gap in Harvard social life."
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