Nearly 100 Students Meet To Discuss Men-Only Clubs
New Group Considers Possible Boycott Against Final Clubs
Nearly 100 students turned out last night for a meeting held by Women Appealing for Change, a recently formed organization which is appealing to the final clubs to go co-ed.
Organizers presented two versions of a petition to boycott final clubs to the crowd, mostly composed of female upperclass students.
Francie Walton '94, who organized Women Appealing for Change, said that providing two versions of the petition brought together a larger number of students who might support the boycott.
In addition to the purposely "friendly" boycott printed as an ad in Monday's issue of The Crimson, organizers presented an alternate version of the petition geared toward women who have previously boycotted final clubs and who do not agree with the ad's amicable tone.
"We need to make this something that everyone can be a part of," Walton said. "This is an enormous opportunity to bring a lot of women at Harvard together to dictate their own social lives."
The group plans to present its initial set of petitions to the final clubs in approximately two weeks, coinciding with the beginning of the clubs' punch season, said Megan E. Colligan '95.
Those who sign either petition pledge not to go to any final club during the current academic year, a statement Walton said would mean a great sacrifice for those who frequent final clubs.
But Walton said the sacrifice may be smaller than expected.
"We want people thinking about how maybe we're not getting the greatest deal [at final clubs]," she said. "There is an underlying rule in the final clubs which says, 'Invite the women when we're ready for them.'"
Despite some disagreement among the group's supporters, its organizers say their ultimate goal is to bring women together to support the boycott and end the single-sex status of the final clubs.
"This isn't a field hockey thing or an athlete thing," said Walton. "A lot of people have a lot of things to say and perspectives to share. This is women appealing for change."
Although organizers are still planning the next stages of their effort, members hope to focus soon on publicity and social events which might provide an alternative to the final club scene.
"We don't have a place to go after 2 a.m," said Julie M. Copaken '94, who attended the meeting. "I don't enjoy the final clubs anyway. It's just something to do."
Copaken, saying that she remains unsure about whether she will sign the petition, said a lot of seniors may not want to be "martyrs."
"I think it just made me think a lot about social life at Harvard and the problems," said Jennifer C. Peters '94, who thinks she'll sign the petition. "For some reason our school just has its hands tied in terms of alcohol policies."