Women's Coalition Posters Vilify Final Clubs

Along with promotions for weekend concerts and movies on kiosks around the Yard, students this week also spotted posters across campus reading "Final Clubs Suck" and "Swat the Fly."

With the endorsement of the student activist group UNITE, the Radcliffe Women's Action Coalition (RADWAC) plastered the Yard with posters aimed at "raising awareness on campus about final clubs," according to coalition member Stephanie Greenwood '99.

RADWAC, a task force under the auspices of the Radcliffe Union of Students (RUS) was created last spring and its members are currently negotiating the task force's status with RUS, Greenwood said.

The coalition meets weekly and its general goals include reaching out to women in the Cambridge community and advocating increases in minority and female faculty hiring, according to Greenwood.

The group's interest in the issue of women and final clubs was sparked by an article in the January issue of Perspective, the campus liberal monthly, which described paid sexual acts at the A.D., one of the campus' final clubs, Greenwood said.

Over the last few weeks, RADWAC has devoted significant time to "let people know what [the clubs] are about," said RADWAC member Mia Bagneris '99.

RADWAC aims, among other things, to create a "visible and unapologetically feminist presence" at Harvard, Bagneris said.

The coalition has divided into two "work groups," one focusing on direct action, the other on awareness and information, according to Bagneris.

The direct action group put up this week's posters which parodied final clubs with such phrases as "Support Your Local Bastion of Classist Patriarchal Elitism--Go to a Final Club Party."

RADWAC's awareness work group plans to supplement the posters with fact-based flyers and information booklets.

Greenwood hopes to "give a voice to people with objections [to the clubs] because there is no outlet for it now."

The posters are mainly aimed at first-year women and sophomore men who may not be aware of the "dangers" of the clubs, Greenwood said.

Members of final clubs had mixed reactions to the posters. One student who asked not to be named said he felt that groups such as RADWAC have the right to promote their message but added he believes ,that 19- and 20-year-old women should be able to make their own decisions.

Caleb Gibson '99, a member of the Spee Club, called the postering campaign "childish" and said if a woman had an unpleasant experience at a club event, it would be "completely up to her not to go back. Simply put, no harassing institution could keep women coming back."

However, Bagneris said that RADWAC will continue to plan events such as a "Swat the Fly Anti-Garden Party" later in the semester.

The group will continue to work on developing strategies to address the final-club issue and hopes to gain a more visible role on campus as an advocate of women's concerns, Bagneris said