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A week and a half ago, students packed the Winthrop Junior Common Room for an off-the-record meeting to discuss social exclusivity and final clubs. This week, conversation surrounding the unrecognized social groups took a more anonymous turn, as a blog published lists of dozens of students who are reportedly members of male final clubs.
The Tumblr blog, entitled “Hey There Harvard, I’m In A Final Club,” went live earlier this week and has since drawn dozens of anonymous comments and questions, many criticizing the decision to post the clubs’ alleged membership lists. By Thursday afternoon, most of those comments were taken down, but the lists of final club members remained archived and viewable as of Thursday night. A post explained that the comments were removed in an effort to remove any “undue negative tone or bias.”
According to the blog, the site’s purpose is to offer information on club membership so that students know who to talk to about the impact that final clubs have on undergraduate social life. Club lists were compiled by a group of Harvard students inside and outside final clubs, according to a Thursday night email from the account listed on the site as belonging to the blog’s administrator.
“The dialogue surrounding the final clubs has been shrouded in mystery for far too long because no one, especially not the guys in the clubs, are held accountable for the way the clubs affect the social scene,” the site’s frequently asked questions section read, though the post has since been removed.
As of Thursday, the only FAQ remaining on the site is a post explaining why membership lists of female final clubs are not posted.
“[T]hey are all less than 30 years old and by all accounts have negligible influence of the social scene here...none of them own property (though quite a few rent and one of them does throw parties occasionally at that rented property) and...we don’t have the names!” reads the post.
The blog’s administrator or administrators posted Wednesday that there were some errors in the membership lists that would be updated, though that post has since been removed.
The site features a submission section where students can email names of final club members or request corrections to the posted lists. All submissions will be kept confidential, according to the blog, but they must come from a Harvard College email address.
“It’s almost impossible to know for certain who is in a club and who is not if you are outside of that specific club because they are so secretive,” the since-removed post read. “That’s exactly what we’re trying to fix by opening the lists to the public.”
Shortly after the blog went up, it drew criticism for publicly posting lists of final club members. “I think this site misses the point on some fundamental levels,” one anonymous post read earlier on Thursday before it was taken down. “Moreover, I believe that what you’ve done in creating it constitutes an egregious violation of privacy.”
More than 20 students listed on the site as final club members did not respond to requests for comment.
—Staff writer Theodore R. Delwiche can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @trdelwic.
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