St Paul’s College will admit undergraduate women from 2023, Warden Ed Loane announced this morning. The college has a history of “dangerous and demeaning” sexist traditions, and current students and alumni of the college were largely against the proposal to become co-residential.
In a position paper justifying the move, the college said that “relating across genders in a normalised (non-sexualised) manner…will accelerate the formation that college provides” and that “it is hoped that a more representative student body will provide a natural curb to anti-social behaviour and mindsets.”
The college further said that “St Paul’s suffers from a perception of being anachronistic and chauvinistic.”
In response to the 2018 Broderick Review, which found a deep-seated culture of sexism and ritualised hazing, St Paul’s pledged to diversify its student body.
St Paul’s has suffered from declining enrolments in recent years, with empty rooms placing financial pressure on the college. In recent years, St Paul’s has taken an emergency loan from its foundation, admitted non-USyd undergraduates, and opened the co-residential Graduate House for postgraduate students.
The college said that admitting women would open up numerous “operational efficiencies” for the college.
Some St Paul’s students have criticised the consultation process for being rushed, and say that the primary motivation for the change was financial.
The college’s Senior Student, Matt Moran, said in a statement that “The student body is grateful for the consultation process that has been undertaken by St Paul’s College Council over the course of the year.”