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For the first time in its over 180- year-old history, a traditional Cambridge University private members' club, famous as a male-only space, has voted to allow women members. The Pitt Club has been open only to men since it was founded in 1835, with entry dependent on formal election. Until now women could accompany members to events at the clubhouse on campus but could not attend in their own right. According to student newspaper 'Varsity', the club confirmed this week that it was now open to women which means they would have an equal right to be elected as members. "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," the club said in a statement. Originally intended as a political club, the Pitt Club was named after the 18th-century British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, an alumnus of Pembroke College at the university. The club is more famous for its parties, although they are believed to be less raucous than those at Oxford University's similar Bullingdon Club. Notable members and former members of the Pitt Club include King Edward VII and King George V, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, Olympic gold-medalist David Cecil and the economist John Maynard Keynes. The report said it had seen an email sent to alumni members of the club 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 November 7) which will precede the vote." It is believed that the decision to hold a vote on mixed membership was made in order to improve the club's reputation, which has been harmed over the years by tales of debauchery and controversial initiation ceremonies. Entry into the club is only possible through election via a members' vote, which will often require applicants to perform controversial initiations.
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