News & Notes: Harvard final club becomes first to extend invitations to women| Sep 16, 2015
The Spee Club, a previously all-male final club at Harvard, decided to send its first invitations to female members Friday, the New York Times reported.
Matthew Lee, president of the Spee Club, told the Times in an email that the club had voted to admit all genders as it began recruiting members for the 2015-16 academic year. When Harvard had demanded in 1984 that its social clubs start admitting women, the clubs had responded by severing ties with the university and moving off-campus.
It was not clear on Friday whether any of the other all-male clubs would behave similarly. However, Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana told the Times that the clubs have reached out to the university about how to move the organizations in that direction.
Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the nation’s oldest theater company, also said it was discussing whether to allow women to perform onstage.
Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust had been putting pressure on the clubs to admit women, criticizing the elitist atmosphere fostered by the clubs.
“To have certain groups that can dispense privilege and advantage in very significant ways that exclude individuals from membership is very troubling,” she told the Harvard Crimson.