St Paul’s College will admit undergraduate women from 2023, Principal Ed Loane announced this morning. The college has a history of “dangerous and demeaning” sexist traditions, and the college’s current students and alumni were largely against the proposal to become co-residential.
In a position paper justifying the decision, the college said that “gender relations in a normalized (non-sexualized) manner… curb antisocial behaviors and mindsets.
The college further stated that “St Paul suffers from a perception of anachronism and chauvinism”.
In response to the Broderick Review 2018, which revealed a deeply rooted culture of sexism and ritualized hazing, St Paul’s pledged to diversify its student body.
St Paul’s has suffered from declining enrollment in recent years, with empty rooms putting financial pressure on the college. In recent years, St Paul’s has taken out an emergency loan from its foundation, admitted non-U.S. Undergraduate students, and opened the Graduate House as a co-residence for postgraduates.
The college said admitting women would unlock many “operational efficiencies” for the college.
Some St Paul students criticized the consultation process for being rushed and said the main motivation for the change was financial.
Senior college student Matt Moran said in a statement that “the student body is grateful for the consultation process that has been undertaken by the St Paul College Council during the year.”