Wilson, RUS Differ on Clubs

Students Say Radcliffe Provides Inadequate Resources

Radcliffe President Linda S. Wilson and the Radcliffe Union of Students (RUS) appear to have widely disparate visions on providing important social resources for women on campus, the sort of resources provided to some by social clubs.

Specifically, RUS members last week criticized statements that Wilson made in a recent interview with The Crimson, in which she argued that Radcliffe is essentially fulfilling its responsibilities in this regard to women undergraduates.

Wilson said that resources such as Radcliffe Career Services and the Radcliffe-sponsored Lyman Common Room serve as centers for net-working and developing connections.

"[The Lyman Common Room] gives undergraduates the opportunity to mix with a set of role models and interesting women," Wilson said.

In that way, Wilson said, Radcliffe can partially compensate for resources provided by single-sex social clubs, including the nine all-male final clubs and all-female social clubs.


But RUS members said last week that Radcliffe-provided resources are not adequate, both because networking opportunities are limited there and because Radcliffe has not acted on the need for undergraduate party space.

"Radcliffe Career Services and the Lyman Common Room are good but do not in any way compare to the networking that the final clubs provide," said Brenda C. Coughlin '93, co-president of RUS.

Many women emphasize the need for a space to hold parties in addition to a forum to make connections.

"We need an indoor space, a building, which is controlled, and where we can throw parties," said Jessica S. Yellin '93, an active RUS member.

By not directly lobbying Harvard for a college sponsored student social space, RUS members said, Radcliffe is not living up to its pledge to be an advocate for women on campus.

"Radcliffe is dodging its responsibility by saying Harvard should provide the social centers... Radcliffe and Harvard should work together to provide a special social space," said Minna M. Jarvenpaa '93, RUS co-president.

But Wilson's statements indicate she believes Radcliffe has less responsibility than RUS members would like.

"The basic student services we've delegated to Harvard, and so we aren't called upon as much by the students,"Wilson said.

This echoes the wording of the 1977 "non-mergermerger" in which Radcliffe delegated to Harvardresponsibility for the day-to-day lives of womenundergraduates.

Social Needs

Further, Wilson said she does not clearlyunderstand why students' social needs are notbeing satisfied by Harvard's existing system.