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The Porcellian Club, Harvard’s oldest final club, broke its public silence Tuesday for the first time in decades to criticize College administrators’ request that final clubs go co-ed, according to an article in the Harvard Crimson.

“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, a 1982 graduate and Porcellian Club member, wrote in an email to the Crimson. “This reflects both the PC’s abiding interest in privacy and the importance of the situation.”

Harvard’s “final clubs” are undergraduate social clubs known for their selectivity and secrecy.

According to a university-wide sexual conduct climate survey, 47 percent of undergraduate female seniors reported having experienced “nonconsensual sexual contact,” and the same report linked male final clubs with a high prevalence of sexual misconduct, causing sharp criticism from the University’s sexual assault prevention task force.

“Forcing single gender organizations to accept members of the opposite sex could potentially increase, not decrease the potential for sexual misconduct.”

The Porcellian Club, whose past members include U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell, has a members-only policy that bars guests from entering their clubhouse.

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