The graduate president of one of Harvard's elite male-only "final clubs" has resigned after making comments last week defending the club's exclusion of women by saying they were more likely to be sexually assaulted if they were allowed to join the club.
“Forcing single gender organizations to accept members of the opposite sex could potentially increase, not decrease the potential for sexual misconduct," said the club leader, Charles M. Storey, in a statement to The Harvard Crimson last week.
Storey issued two apologies–initially saying he "chose [his] words poorly"–and then resigning from his club position in his second apology, posted on the Harpoon Brewery's website (Storey is president of that company):
I know the last 24 hours have been difficult for many of you as a result of what I said in my letter to the Harvard Crimson. I have listened to you and I have thought deeply about what I have done. By saying earlier that my words were misinterpreted, I did not take full responsibility for what I said. I am doing that now. Plain and simple what I said was wrong. No excuses.
I want to be clear here that I am apologizing for what I said, not just for who I offended with my words.
Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana has been calling for final clubs at the school to admit women. The administration published a report last month criticizing the culture of the clubs and noting that women who had been involved with the clubs or attended their events had reported more incidents of sexual assault than the wider student body.
Storey's comments last week suggested that rather than addressing final clubs' treatment of women, they should be allowed to continue excluding women. Khurana set a deadline of April 15 for clubs to tell the school whether or not they intend to become co-ed, The Crimson reports, but it's so far unclear what the Porcellian Club's final decision is. If the clubs refuse, Khurana may impose penalties on members including restrictions on fellowships and school leadership positions.