Trustees of All-Male College Want to Keep Tradition of No Girls Allowed

Illustration for article titled Trustees of All-Male College Want to Keep Tradition of No Girls Allowed

For 95 years, Deep Springs College, perhaps the most exclusive institute of higher education in the country — only around 26 undergraduates attend the two-year school, and most go on to Ivy League universities afterwards — has only accepted men into its rigorous program which includes not only a liberal arts education but hard labor such as milking cows and tilling the land.


Last September, the school's trustees voted to change the rules and reinterpret the founding documents since, you know, its 2012 and women are no longer thought of as Siren-like creatures that might get in the way of the school's original mission to educate "promising young men." Plus, as most of the trustees agreed, "men" in the early 20th century was meant "to describe mankind as a general reference to the species" — I don't know if you've heard, but women are equals now, and we can even vote!

But now, two trustees who want to keep the school men-only have filed legal paperwork asking a judge to stop the school from admitting any ladies. The LA Times reports:

The dissenting trustees, Kinch Hoekstra and Edward Keonjian, who are alumni, insisted that the school is thriving without female students and that there is no compelling reason or legal way to enroll them now. "If the trustees wish to have a coeducational college similar to Deep Springs, they are free to donate or raise the funds to create one according to their own vision," according to the court filing.

There are definitely arguments to be made for same-sex education, but, seriously, "no compelling reason?" How about the fact that the most of the trustees — and the school's president, at that — support admitting women, and want them to be able to attend the college near Death Valley as early as next fall? And it seems like a big "Fuck You" to suggest that the other trustees create their own college just because they want to give women a chance to enjoy the unique educational experience that Deep Springs provides. (Tuition-free, at that!) Maybe the grumpy, outnumbered duo should start their own same-sex school, and let Deep Springs adapt with the times, as the majority seems to desire.

Trustees of all-male college try to block admission of women [LA Times]

Image via Everett Collection/Shutterstock.


Jenna Sauers

My favorite college professor attended Deep Springs. The stories he would tell...