FLY Club Could Turn Co-Ed; Final Vote Expected in Fall

When the undergraduate members of the fly Club voted 28-0 with one abstention last September to admit women, it looked like the club's 157-year-old single-sex policy was buckling.

The Fly's graduate board decided unanimously in October to allow a co-ed punch--but not until the fall of 1994, and then only if the club's undergraduate members continued to support the charge, according to Fly Club Council president Eric E. Vogt '70.

And now, with the time for a decision fast approaching, it is unclear whether the Fly will be the first of Harvard's nine final clubs to go-ed.

Some Fly members said in October that they believed their graduate council was stonewalling undergraduates by delaying action for a year.

Former Fly Club president Scott B. Logan '94, who had originally pushed to have a co-ed punch last fall, eventually acceded to the concerns of the graduates, saying he agreed that the club needed more time to prepare for the change.

But other undergraduates who favored the change said they feared members admitted over the past year might add voices of dissent to the unified front presented last September by the undergraduates. In 1989, a proposal to go co-ed was voted down by undergraduate members.

The club's membership has indeed changed dramatically over the past year.

About 20 of the club's 50 current members--about tow-thirds of the men who had originally called for admitting women--are graduating now. And the club admitted nine new members in the spring, an unusually high number, according to fly president Robert M. Carlock '95.

Carlock says he would not "feel comfortable" predicting how next fall's vote will go on account of the "very new undergraduate membership".

But he adds that it would be "a gross misstatement" to suggest that the new undergraduate membership could act singlehandedly against the wishes of a larger segment of the club's membership.

"What we will continue to do is to take into consideration the opinions and views of the people outside that group of 30 people," including the departing seniors as well as the rest of the club's 1,100 living graduate members, Carlock says.

It is these alumni, he notes, whose funding the club depends on for about half of its operating costs.