Fly Grads Clear Co-Ed Policy

Women to be Punched in 1994 if Current Members Agree

The alumni board of the Fly Club voted unanimously this week to allow its undergraduates to begin admitting women into the social club next fall, overturning a 157-year-old all-male policy that has been the target of protest for more than decade.

Fly Club Council president Eric E. Vogt '70 said the board gave the club permission to hold a co-ed punch in the fall of 1994, but only if its undergraduate members continue to support the change.

The undergraduates voted 28-0 with one abstention last month to ask the graduate council to drop the men-only membership rule. The council gave the final go-ahead this Wednesday after taking an informal poll of the club's alumni.

After a three-and-half hour meeting, the council passed a resolution stating its support of the proposal while urging "the greatest care and planning" in implementing the change.

Some Fly members said last night they believe the council is stonewalling the undergraduates by delaying action for a year. The club had hoped to admit women as early as this fall or spring.


If next year's club members agree to abandon the all-male policy, the Fly Club would be the first of Harvard's nine final clubs to go co-ed.

Fly Club President Scott B. Logan '94 praised the alumni decision and predicted that the club would go ahead and admit women next year.

"We could be a co-ed club this year, but would we be a good co-ed club?" Logan said. "We want to make sure that life as a Fly Club member is as good as it can be."

Student activists and college officials have for years called on the clubs to admit women. Harvard cut ties with the clubs in the early 80s after they refused to drop the single-sex policy.

Officials of six other final clubs did not return phone calls last night. Spee President Bliss M. Dake '94 declined to comment. Delphic secretary Timothy J. Dolan '94 said his club will probably put off discussion of going co-ed until after the new members are admitted.

Although most of the 350 graduates who responded to the survey of the club alumni were "very positive" about the undergraduates' right to choose, Vogtsaid many "raised yellow flags" and urged cautionin making the transition to a co-ed club.

The alumni board also established a committeeof graduates and undergraduates to makerecommendations "concerning the social, legal andfinancial implications of the election of women."

Logan, who rallied graduate support for a co-edpunch earlier this year, said he backed down fromhis original proposal because he agreed with theconcerns raised by the graduates. He and Vogt willserve as chairs of the new committee.

Vogt said the alumni were worried about thefirst co-ed punch and the difficulties the membersmight have in evaluating the women for membership.Some suggested that women should be involved inselection process of the first co-ed punch.

He also said the club's rituals and oaths "needto be reviewed to make sure that they areappropriate for a club that hopes to include bothsexes."

Vogt said graduates also wanted to examinepossible financial problems, including the addedcost of running a club for an expanded membership,the changes in facilities necessary to accommodatewomen and the potentially negative impact of goingco-ed on graduate donations.