D.U. President: Club Is Dead, Building for Sale

But Grad Board Head Denies Report

The D.U., one of Harvard's all-male final clubs since 1880, is closing permanently, and its building is for sale, club president Matt B. Hillis '96 said late last night.

Hillis said that he received a phone call last Saturday from the club's graduate board, informing him that the D.U. was being shut down. Hillis cited financial troubles as the reason.

"It's closed. It's closed forever," he said.

But Louis I. Kane, who heads the graduate board, continues to say that D.U. is not being closed permanently. "The club at this point has been temporarily closed," he said.

It is unclear what will happen next to the D.U. building at 45 Dunster Street. Hillis said the graduate board has found two interested buyers, but he said he doesn't know their identities.


The D.U. had not opened this year because of a disagreement between the club's members and the graduate board over the board's attempt to place limitations on the club.

The club began a partial shutdown last spring, following a fight at the D.U. between a football recruit and Sean Hansen '95.

The inactivity of the club this fall led to the club's financial woes, because no monthly dues were paid this year. There was also no fall punch, another key source of revenue.

According to treasurer Dan R. Vereb '96, a capital campaign launched two years ago made only $500,000, less than half the desired amount.

The combination of insurance premiums, mortgage payments and Cambridge property taxes became too much for the club to manage, Hillis said.

Other members thought that the changing nature of the club contributed to the club's apparent closing.

"I think it has a lot to do with that incident [the Hansen fight]. The grad board saw it as indicative of what our club was like," said D.U. Vice-President David M. Sprinkle '96. "They didn't want to take the heat and were tired of being affiliated with the club."

Graduate board members had earlier demanded that undergraduates accept a 100 hundred percent increase in monthly club dues.

Club members offered to agree to a smaller increase. But they also complained that the D.U., one of the least expensive final clubs, was moving away from what had made it special.

The D.U. was best known as a club for football players. But in the past, the club had been known more for its intellectual character.