This week in Amherst history: Nov. 11, 1971
“While maintaining its historic tradition, the College will nevertheless continue to welcome qualified men as exchange students or visitors in residence,” said Chairman of the Board John L. Cooper in making the announcement. “This can give us the best of both worlds: an institution where the education of women can continue to be our major commitment, yet one in which we can explore numerous options and opportunities for exchange and cooperation.”
Mount Holyoke President David Truman stressed that the vote did not reflect outright support of the status quo. The College planned to begin work towards establishing a women’s studies major and to provide continuing education to the women of the area.
The decision came on the heels of a campus-wide poll in which nearly two-thirds of students pledged their support for the action that the Trustees eventually took, The Student reported. As expected, student reaction to the decision was largely favorable. “No one has tried to raise women’s consciousness by isolating them together,” said Sam Hands, a Mount Holyoke student. “This is a good place to try it.”