We are writing in light of the news that the Royal and Ancient Golf Club is poised to take a historic step on 18 September as it moves to a vote on the inclusion of women as members. This is a defining moment for the Club itself, for the game of golf, and for the community of St Andrews.
Female students make up 56 per cent of the undergraduate population at the University. We are privileged to study at an institution led into its seventh century by Principal Richardson, a leading expert in her field and St Andrews’ first female principal. In the past few years, we have seen a great deal of movement on gender equality within our student body, and are delighted to be part of a society-wide trend in this direction.
The town of St Andrews lies at a unique confluence of histories; it has been the domicile of royalty and clergy, as well as generations of students and townspeople. This place has also been home and host to countless legends of the noble game invented here. Golf is the town’s lifeblood. As St Andreans, we live and breathe tradition; however, we are also – as our history has proved to us – a place of innovation.
We firmly believe that it is the responsibility of all members of this community to guide the institutions we inherit into the 21st century. We hope that the Royal and Ancient Golf Club shares this philosophy. It is our sincere request that you will cast your votes in September with these thoughts in mind, and come to the decision that it is time to bring the club’s admission policy into step with its respected status in the sporting world. We humbly wish to express our support of Professor Richardson on this matter, and to add our voice to those calling for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club to reconsider its discriminatory men-only policy.
The Feminist Society of the University of St Andrews