The Mather House Council recommended Tuesday night that the Mather House dining room be used next week to accomodate an all-women's dinner sponsored by the Radcliffe Union of Students, but the House Master said yesterday that men cannot be excluded from the dinner.
Charles Diana '78, chairman of the Mather House council, said yesterday that the council had "no power" to rule definitively on the issue, since it only has control of the dining area facilities after 8 p.m.
The council's only interest was to make a recommendation to the master on whether or not to allow RUS to use the main dining room and exclude all men during the scheduled hours of the dinner, Diana said.
David Herlihy, master of Mather House, said yesterday he had not heard of the results of the council meeting. But he added, "There cannot be an exclusive use of the main dining room on the basis of sex."
RUS has held three similar dinners in the past in South House's Moors Hall dining room. Shirley Broner, South House secretary, said yesterday, "At present, if men arrive in the dining room, they are not asked to leave."
The Mather Council proposed that RUS hold the dinners at one of the River houses on a rotating basis, instead of at the Radcliffe Quadrangle so that more women would be inclined to participate, Diana said.
"The principle of allowing a group to keep people out of the dining hall" raised some controversy at Tuesday night's meeting, Diana said.
Steven O'Hara '77, a member of the council, said yesterday some council members felt the dinner, to be held on March 15 "would be a good women's experience." The opponents of the plan argued that it showed "blatant sex discrimination" and that once one group has the privilege, "who's to say that the blacks or Catholics can't," O'Hara added.
In response to the dispute, Diana said, "It is clear that RUS is the exception, not the rule."
Students yesterday expressed various opinions on the proposed dinner. "I think it's a bad action because it's discriminatory," O'Hara said. "Since three-quarters of the students will be excluded I can't speak in favor of it."
Ann L. Raymond '77 said yesterday that the dinner was "obviously discriminatory, but if there's one held here I suppose I'd go."
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