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Fly and D.U. Final Clubs Decide to Merge Assets, Alumni Membership

D.U. Undergrads Complain They Have Been Treated Unfairly by Grads

Within two weeks, the 116-year-old D.U. Club will close its doors forever, when a merger between the Fly and D.U. consolidates the assets and alumni membership of the two clubs.

But in the merger, the student membership of the now-defunct D.U. Club has been left out in the cold.

"They didn't merge the membership," said a disappointed David M. Sprinkle '96, former vice president of the D.U. "They should have. That's the worst part."

The merger will result in a new corporation, housed at 2 Holyoke Place, the current site of the Fly Club, according to Louis I. Kane '53, president of the graduate board of the D.U. Club. Income earned from rental of the D.U. clubhouse will go to support this new corporation, which will retain the Fly Club's name.

Possible renters include the University and several investment banking and consulting firms, said J. Michael Zuromskis '60, treasurer of the D.U.'s graduate board.

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Grad Board v. Members

Graduate board members of the D.U. said their incentive to merge the clubs stemmed from the highly active alumni association of the Fly Club.

Where D.U. alums met annually in Boston and New York, those of the Fly hold parties all over the United States and are planning a meeting in London before the end of the year, according to Zuromskis.

Recent events, however, seem to indicate that the Fly Club's alumni perks were not the only reason for the D.U. Club's close.

Simmering tensions between grad board members and undergraduates erupted when John Burnham, a football recruit from Maryland, was seriously injured in a fight with club member Sean M. Hansen '95 at the club in March 1995.

After the fight, the club closed its doors for "a cooling-off period," and the D.U. never reopened.

The fight was the final fissure for a club whose membership had been growing apart from the graduate board and alumni who essentially subsidized them.

According to sources, the D.U. had once been an intellectual "gentlemen's" club. In more recent years, however, the membership has mostly been drawn from the football team.

As one justification for the club's closing, alumni argued that the current D.U. members had allowed virtually an open-door policy in the club. But members protested that bringing friends to the club for a beer or a game of pool after the bars in the Square close is common practice in all final clubs.

So in September when the graduate board proposed a 2 a.m. curfew, a ban on kegs and a increase in dues from $50 to $100 a month, the membership balked and the club remained closed.

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