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New Frat, Seneca Plot Alternate Social Scene

By Victoria C. Hallett, Crimson Staff Writer

The campus' two newest social organizations may not have houses to call their own, but the Delta Upsilon (D.U.) fraternity and the all-female Seneca club are ready to party.

Both groups, created last semester in the wake of restricted guest policies

at some of Harvard's eight all-male final clubs, are now recruiting new members and planning inaugural events.

And the Seneca is thinking long-term as well, with club officials saying they eventually hope to convince the final clubs to accept female members.

"We're interested in seeing how they feel about going co-ed and what time frame they see for that happening," said Seneca Co-President Kirstin E. Butler '01, who is planning lunches with officers from each of the final clubs.

For the moment, though, Butler said the Seneca hopes to distance itself from the invitation-only punch process that characterizes final club recruiting.

Instead, the women's club plans on postering in the Houses and door-dropping applications to women who attended their barbecue at Lowell House last spring. They will also solicit members through organizations such as the Black Students Association and the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Supporters' Alliance.

"We want to have as big an interest pool as possible," Butler said.

Butler and Co-President Alexandra B. Seru '01 said the club will attempt to clear up any misconceptions about its purpose during introductory meetings Oct 5. and 7.

"A lot of people are confused by what we're about," Seru said.

She said that an open-application process, including several short-answer questions, was intended to dispel myths about elitism in the Seneca admissions process.

The club then plans to hold a few events, including small luncheon groups, for applicants to mingle with each other and meet the current members.

"The application is extremely important," Seru said. "We need committed people because we're trying to make a mark on Harvard."

The D.U. fraternity's rush process will rely on a small door drop and current members wearing T-shirts to spread the word.

Officials from both the Seneca and the D.U. fraternity said they hope to build their memberships from a small core to a total of 60 students each.

The D.U. has been working with Sigma Chi, as well as two sororities, Kappa Alpha Theta and Delta Gamma, to become a part of the upcoming Greek Week.

Neither the Seneca or the D.U. will accept first-years this fall, although the Seneca plans on holding a spring application process in which first-years can participate.

"It didn't strike me that I needed something like the Seneca until my sophomore year," Seru said.

Seru and Butler said the Seneca expects about 200 applicants for the 40 or so spots.

But for women who do not get into the club, Seru and Butler said they will help them in any way they can to set up their own clubs.

"It's an inconvenience that we have to keep it small," Seru said. "We are trying to set up a network for women at Harvard because that's our ultimate goal."

Seru said that she anticipates the Seneca will need a space of its own by next year, although that could be a temporary location like an apartment.

Without a house, both groups are trying to come up with creative places to hold activities.

One of the Seneca's application events will be an outdoor scavenger hunt, and the club plans on renting the Advocate building for other functions.

The D.U. intends on gathering at football games, as well as taking advantage of other outdoor venues.

"Our opening will be held at Cambridge Common," said Michael A. Tringe '01, the D.U.'s vice president of alumni and public relations. "We'll also hold some sort of appetizers or dinner at a local restaurant."

Both groups are also heavily emphasizing community service, and the D.U. will feature a service event as part of rush week.

To learn more about the Seneca, the club has produced a Web site (www.theseneca.org), which includes the application and general information about the club.

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