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Co-Ed Motion Fails In Fox Club Graduate Vote

While Provisional Membership Was Extended, Undergraduates Cannot Elect Women in Fall

The Fox Club remains closed following the decision by its graduate board to shut down earlier this fall.
The Fox Club remains closed following the decision by its graduate board to shut down earlier this fall.
By C. Ramsey Fahs

A Thursday morning vote that would have allowed Fox undergraduates to elect women as members in the club narrowly failed, effectively reversing a move by Fox undergraduates last year to extend membership to future classes of women.

The resolution garnered 63.5 percent affirmative graduate votes, just short of the two-thirds majority required for approval, according to an email from Fox graduate board president Hugh M. Nesbit ’77. A total of 548 Fox graduates participated in the vote, according to a copy of Nesbit’s email to club graduates early Thursday evening that was obtained by The Crimson. Nesbit could not immediately be reached for comment.

The vote will now likely put the Fox at odds with a new administrative policy that penalizes involvement in unrecognized, single-gender social groups. That policy, which is slated to go into effect with the Class of 2021, will bar members of single-gender social groups from holding leadership positions in recognized groups as well as receiving College endorsement for fellowships like the Rhodes and the Marshall.

In response to a second resolution on whether to extend the current provisional memberships of some Fox Club undergraduates, 392 graduates voted in favor, 141 were opposed, and 15 abstained, according to Nesbit’s email. As the result of this vote, undergraduate women and men who were added to the club last fall will see their provisional membership extended until mid-June 2017.

The vote, which was conducted both in person at the Fox’s 44 JFK Street clubhouse and by physical and electronic proxy voting cards, is the culmination of a year marked by tense discussions and disputes over the role of women in the Fox Club, especially as College administrators urge clubs to go co-ed.

The failure of the vote on whether to accept women was anticipated in the results of a Club-wide survey that queried members on the issue ahead of the meeting. The survey, however, anticipated a much wider margin of defeat for the co-ed measure. Only 51 percent of graduate respondents to the survey registered support for a co-ed Fox Club, a deviation from the eventual 63.5 percent of voters in support of the measure.

—Check for updates.

—Staff writer C. Ramsey Fahs can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @ramseyfahs.

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