Women Launch Club Boycott

Hoping to mobilize a campus-wide boycott of the final clubs, an advertisement in today's Crimson tells women that "it is time to think" and that the elite, all-male social clubs should admit women.

The ad was bought by at least one member of the field hockey team, co-captain Francie Walton '94.

Walton said she hoped the boycott, conceived and so far organized by members of her team, will involve women campus-wide. "It's not a field hockey thing or a Mather House thing. We hope all women will become involved in this," Walton said.

The clubs, which are not officially recognized by the College because of their single-sex policy, admit Harvard male undergraduates on the basis of nomination and election by their members. Members pay annual dues ranging from $300 to $1,000.

The boycott will shadow years of debate and speculation about whether the clubs will overturn their century-old single-sex tradition. Individual members say they have expressed support for turning the clubs co-ed, only to encounter resistance from club alumni and the Inter-Club Council, the governing body of the final clubs.


Final club presidents and members interviewed yesterday said they did not feel their clubs would be threatened or less patronized because of the planned protest. They also said they were unsure about how the boycott would affect the social scenes of their clubs.

Jojo K. Juette '94, vice-president of the Phoenix, said he is skeptical of the effectiveness of the boycott and how his club will feel the effects of it.

"There are a lot of different prob- lems involved," said Juette. "Making the clubsgo co-ed will involve a lot more than just aboycott from the outside."

Juette also said he personally thinks the tollthe boycott will take on the social scene of thePhoenix will depend on how widespread the protestbecomes.

"Personally, I support women in final clubs,"said Spee President Bliss M. Dake '94. "I wouldsupport the boycott."

Dake said he thinks the clubs would "stillremain viable" even if women frequented the clubless often. "I don't think the main reason whymost men join clubs is to meet women," Dake said.

Three years ago, the Radcliffe Union ofStudents (RUS) organized a movement against thefinal clubs protesting sexism and elitism,according to RUS Co-president Deborah J. Wexler'95.

She said she would not support the field hockeyteam's boycott because "the problem with the finalclubs is elitism as well as sexism." She addedthat RUS has ceased activism against the clubssince last year because members felt it would bemore productive to focus energies on "positivethings."

Walton refused further comment until after thead was published. Field hockey team members couldnot be reached for comment yesterday because theywere in Maine for a game

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