A historic Harvard club has returned to its male-only roots only two years after it was pressured into admitting females.
In October 2015 the 119-year-old Fox Club, whose previous members have included Microsoft founder Bill Gates, former King of Nepal, Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, poet T.S. Eliot and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Van Wyck Brooks, began accepting junior and senior women as provisional members.
But now the graduate board has decided to renege on its plans to go coed by deciding not to give the nine women who were admitted, full member status, the Harvard Crimson reported.
Some men also took to provisional status as a show of support for their female counterparts.
But the graduate leadership has now revoked all provisional memberships and invited males only to apply to be full members, according to screenshots of correspondence procured by the Crimson.
Admitting women was an idea pushed by undergraduate members of the club to the chagrin of graduate members.
Daniel T Skarzynski, the former Fox undergraduate president explained in an email, obtained by the Crimson, that graduate board president Hugh M. Nesbit ’77 told him of the decision he made.
“For the concerned parties, [Nesbit] also said that if you’d like to be re-considered for membership, you should send an email to that effect… and that the grad board will vote individually,” he wrote. “However, he said this invite for reapplication does not apply to female members until such a time as the club votes successfully to add women to its membership.”
Douglas W. Sears, who was the graduate board president when the decision to allow women in was made, criticized Nesbit’s decision.
“Some folks certainly know how to get on the wrong side of history voluntarily,” he told The Crimson.
The club has been divided on the issue of going coed for years.
“As graduates, we must act upon our sense of duty to protect the club that we love and not allow it to be hijacked by a small group of undergraduates who were only just invited into our membership and still have yet to scratch the surface of the club’s legacy,” an anonymous email in 2015 read.
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