Fly Grads Delay Co-Ed Decision

The graduate council of the Fly Club yesterday balked at approving the undergraduates' proposal to admit women to the club, which has been single-sex since 1836. The council will consult the club's graduates, a process that may take until the end of the year, officials said.

The council's decision throws a wrench into the club's plans to include women in this fall's "punch," or membership selection process. It also means that the Woman Appealing for Change (WAC) boycott against the nine all-male final clubs will continue to apply to the Fly.

Fly Club members would not comment yesterday on whether the club would proceed with an all-male fall "punch." Men received "punch" notices last night. But several women interviewed yesterday said they did not receive "punch" notices even though they had previously been notified that they would be "punched."

Fly Graduate President Eric Vogt '70 said he expects the process of contacting graduates to be completed by the end of the year. Evan W. Thomas III '73, a Fly graduate member who has been asked by Vogt to speak on the club's behalf, said he would be "pretty surprised" if the graduate council did not eventually decide to admit women.

On September 26, club undergraduates voted 28-0 to include women and hoped the graduate council would approve the proposal in time to include women in the fall "punch,"which begins on October 8.

If the graduate council gave its approval, theFly Club would have been the first of Harvard'sfinal clubs to admit women.


WAC and Radcliffe Union of Students officialsexpressed disappointment with the graduatecouncil's hesitation.

"We're obviously disappointed about the outcomeof all this," said WAC co-organizer Megan E.Colligan '95. "We commend the Fly members fortheir efforts, and we certainly hope that thegraduates will comply with the members' wishes."

Radcliffe Union of Students Co-PresidentDeborah J. Wexler '95 said "the action, or lackthereof, speaks for itself."

While the ultimate decision will be made by thegraduate council, which includes graduates fromthe 1930s to the 1980s, Vogt said the councilwants its decision to be an informed one.

"Given that this is perceived by many as amajor change in the policy of the club, we feltthat it is well worth the time to wait and assessthe entire graduate body, as opposed to havingsuch a fundamental change made by a small group,"Vogt said.

Vogt said yesterday's three-hour meeting,attended by graduate council members and someundergraduates, resulted in a "strong consensus."

"The graduates and undergraduates are alignedon the process of communication with largergraduate body," Vogt said.

"There is a desire to have a united front aboutthis," Thomas said