Heavy Hart House door opens to women today

By Edward Podogrski
28 January 1972

Effective today, all women students are admitted to Hart House as members—with the same status as men.
There will be no women’s membership fee for the remainder of the academic year, but beginning next year women will pay membership on the same basis as men.

The fee this year was $20. Last year, subsidized by the same levy from all male students, the House went $30 00 into debt. Next year’s fee will not be set until the 23 Hart House committees submit estimates of their budgetary needs. The decision to admit women was made at a secret meeting of the Board of Governors yesterday, in response to recommendations made last year by the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Future Role of Hart House. Of the 27,160 students presently enrolled in the U of T’s winter session, 10,151 are women. Women are now entitled to join committees, run for election to the Board of Stewards, Hart House’s top governing body, use the reading rooms, squash courts, and rifle range, and practice yoga.

Women cannot, however, play basketball, fence, wrestle, or box in the House’s north wing. Men pay a separate fee to the University of Toronto Men’s Athletic Association which subsidizes these activities.
The Deed of Gift whereby Vincent Massey gave the building to the university in 1919 stipulated that “save for special occasions, Hart House shall be for the exclusive use of male members of the university.”
In recent years, increasing pressure has forced the House to relax its ban on women.

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