Harvard Club: Male-Only Safer for Women

One of Harvard University’s “final clubs”—an undergraduate secret society—has broken a 225-year public silence to argue that admitting female members would likely increase sexual assaults. “To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time an officer of the [Porcellian Club] has granted an on-the-record statement to a newspaper since our founding in 1791,” Charles M. Storey, Class of 1982, told The Harvard Crimson. “Given our policies, we are mystified as to why the current administration feels that forcing our club to accept female members would reduce the incidence of sexual assault on campus,” Storey said. Final clubs are set to meet with Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana, who told the newspaper that “single-gender social organizations at Harvard College remain at odds with the aspirations of the 21st-century society to which the college hopes and expects our students will contribute.” But Storey countered that “forcing single-gender organizations to accept members of the opposite sex could potentially increase, not decrease the potential for sexual misconduct.” Another (unnamed) member told the Crimson: “We elect about a dozen sophomores each year and invite them to have dinners with alumni of the club who have stayed involved and cherish this cross-generational community of Harvard students. We don’t host parties. We don’t allow guests on the premises of our club. How we could possibly be connected to the problem of sexual assault on campus?”