Two women's groups which have taken different positions on the status of the Harvard's all-male final clubs met last night to air their views during an open forum at the Lyman Common Room.
A new group named Women Appealing for Change (WAC) prompted a college-wide debate this fall when they urged women to boycott the clubs to encourage them to go co-ed.
"The main issue that has come up is between the issue of excluding women in the final clubs and other issues of exclusion," said Megan E. Lewis '95, a member of the Radcliffe Union of Students (RUS).
While WAC leaders say their attitudes have evolved over the last few months, the official goal of their organization is still to encourage the clubs to admit women and not to attack other membership criteria. RUS has issued statements supporting WAC's goal but only as a first step towards ending elitism.
"We had one front to fight on and this is what we're doing," WAC organizer Rebecca H. Ewing '95 said.
WAC leaders said they hope women with other concerns can view their movement as a first step--a practical goal--in the creation of a more open system.
"To make it a stronger movement, it has to include women with other elitist concerns," WAC organizer Sarah A. Bianchi '95 said.
But some students said they were worried that other issues of discrimination might be forgotten if women were admitted to the clubs.
"I would feel more comfortable if it was a more comprehensive action, although I see the need to have a goal and go for it," said Lewis.
One student said she feared that if women were admitted, their attitude might be:
"Yeah, that's a really interesting socio-economic concern, put I have to go to my punch party now."