Better Them than Us:
We were delighted to hear that the Fly Club has voted to admit women to its membership. It's heartening to see people of our generation taking such a courageous stand to eradicate social injustice, no matter what the risk.
But like any major accord, the hardest part lies ahead, in the details. We wonder how the clubbers will tackle the immense task which lies before them, and we offer them our support.
What, for example, is to be done about the club tie? The tie debate, already leaked to the press, has members in a tizzy. They've got to find some substitute for this traditional gift since, after all, women don't wear ties. How about a club scarf, or maybe a club garter belt?
And then there's the bathroom issue. What with all the new women visiting in the daytime, members will have to build a new bathroom for them. Will they have to vote to make the bathrooms co-ed, too? Will they have tampon dispensers?
But there are a number of more pressing issues facing these revolutionaries. Will male non-members be able to get in the backdoor now, like non-member women? Will these men be able to go to the special places where only non-member women are currently allowed? Who will be able to go through the front door? The back door? What's going to happen with the initiation rites? Will those go co-ed too? Will women and men have separate "talking rooms"? Or will they be able to talk to each other?
The mind reels.
In order to get men, of course, they will have to send shuttles to other colleges, like B.C. or B.U. After all, if the club-going pool is limited to Harvard students, including members and nonmembers, then everybody will be able to go to the Fly. How gauche.
Most importantly, we want to offer our support as the Flyers decide how to conduct their punch. What will the punchmaster do now that he (or she!) has to go through the entire facebook, checking faces against names, schools and addresses. This cuts heavily into study time, especially since research to determine the quality of the many girls' boarding schools which will have to be considered. How could this research be conducted? Maybe they could get a grant from the Ed School.
With a larger selection pool, the competition's going to be steep. Men against women, rich-alumni-son against rich-alumni-daughter. It's not going to be pretty. Maybe once the University endorses the clubs (and we just can't wait), they'll send in Archie C. Epps III to settle the dispute.
Journalists romanticize the stakeout. It's supposed to be gritty, rough and tough. Real journalism, kicking ass, taking names. Bob Woodward does stakeouts. And his always worked out as planned.
But in reality, as a Crimson reporter and photographer discovered last week, the stakeout is exhausting, uncomfortable and nervewracking. The Crimson was following the acting chief of the Harvard Police Department in an effort to determine the nature of his relationship with the president of a bus company the University uses for its reunions and Commencement.
The reporter borrowed his editor's car and went alone to Jamaica Plain twice to wait outside the busy company president's home. He started excited, but returned bored and tired.
You can't listen to the car radio on a stakeout, because you can't make any noise. You can't read the paper, because it's too dark. So all there is to do is sit and stare at the night. And wait.
The police chief showed up both nights the reporter went, but he had little appetite for more. The photographer went along for a possible picture the third night, but the police chief stayed home. The photographer sat in the back seat, and complained about how uncomfortable and bored he was.