The Clubhouse at 7a Jesus Lane, where the Club has been based since 1866Cmglee

The Pitt Club, the university’s notorious private member’s club, has voted to allow the election of female members for the first time in its history.

Since its establishment in Michaelmas term 1835, the University Pitt Club has been exclusively open to male members, with entry dependent on formal election. While female guests could accompany male members to events at the Clubhouse on Jesus Lane, women were not allowed to be recommended or elected for membership.

In a formal statement released today, a Club spokesperson said, “On Tuesday 7th November, a majority of the resident members of the University Pitt Club voted to elect female members. The Club looks forward to welcoming its first female members.”

Varsity has reached out to the Club for comment, and believes members have been asked not to speak to the press.

Given that the vote was open only to ‘resident members’, the reaction of alumni and members no longer attached to the university remains to be seen.

Varsity has seen an email sent to alumni members earlier this week, which said that while “the vote is not extended to alumni members, we would greatly appreciate any thoughts that you might have on the issue. These thoughts and feelings will be presented to the membership as part of the discussion on Tuesday which will precede the vote.”

The vote did not go down well with some alumni, with one telling Varsity he thought the club’s ambience would be “irreparably undermined by female membership”.


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Another said “a lot of the old members are annoyed that the current lot have been allowed to overturn 182 years of tradition on the basis of a fairly casual vote. Most of the responses from alumni were pretty negative to be honest, we felt like they are changing the club permanently for the sake of political correctness. It’s not like this is going to make people outside the Pitt start feeling positive about it – loads of people will always hate the club because they think it’s elitist, whether or not it allows women.”

It is also unclear what format the election of women will take.

Originally intended as a political club, the Pitt Club has faced widespread public scrutiny for its social events in the past, much like that faced by Oxford’s Bullingdon Club.

Notable members and former members include King Edward VII and King George V, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, Olympic gold-medalist David Cecil, the economist John Maynard Keynes, ‘Cambridge Five’ spy ring members Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt, journalist David Frost and Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne.

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