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All-Male Indiana College Votes Against Admitting Women

March 23, 1992

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. (AP) _ The trustees of one of the nation’s three all-male liberal arts colleges have reaffirmed their opposition to admitting women to the western Indiana school.

Wabash College’s 25 trustees voted unanimously Sunday against admitting women, saying the 160-year-old school remains a place where ″tradition is more highly valued than trend.″

The other all-male liberal arts colleges in the nation are Hampden-Sydney College in Hampden-Sydney, Va., and Morehouse College in Atlanta.

″There is no doubt in our minds that one of the main reasons for the personal and professional success of the Wabash graduates throughout a century and a half is the all-male atmosphere,″ the trustees said in a statement released after the vote. ″Young men who study here are given a fuller opportunity to explore a wide range of academic potential.″

The approximately 650 Wabash students who crowded into the college’s chapel cheered after the trustees’ announcement, college spokeswoman Susan Cantrell said.

Last week, the student senate had voted unanimously to recommend against admitting women because many of them said they chose the school specifically because it was single-sex.

″(Women) provide a temptation for guys not to study,″ said Steve Marcou, president of the student senate. ″Women aren’t here, so that’s not an option on a weeknight or even usually on weekends. We’re here to study.″

The trustees’ vote was the result of a two-year study into converting the college, situated 40 miles northwest of Indianapolis, into a coeducational school. President F. Sheldon Wettack created a committee to study the idea after his inauguration in 1989.

The faculty organization voted earlier this month in favor of admitting women as insurance against a dwindling pool of college applicants.

While the trustees understood the faculty’s concern, they felt it could respond to projected enrollment problems in other ways, Cantrell said.

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