City Jaycees to Admit WomenThe Charlottesville chapter of the U.S. Junior Chamber ("Jaycees") holds its first coeducational meeting after the Supreme Court rules that the organization could not exclude women.
City Jaycees to Admit Women
By MARIE JOYCE
Cavalier Daily Associate Editor
Last night, the Charlottesville Chapter of the Jaycees made history when it held its first recruitment meeting attended by women.
Chapter President Chuck Burton said seven of the 10 prospective members at the meeting were women.
On Aug. 16, the United States Jaycees â€œoverwhelmingly approvedâ€ a change in the bylaws which would allow the group to include women as members, Burton said.
The bylaws previously allowed only men between the ages of 18 and 35 to join the organization.
Before the change, â€œa chapter would have lost its charterâ€ if it admitted women, Burton said.
The issue of including women in the membership of the organization was initiated in 1975 when the United States Jaycees authorized â€œfive metropolitan chapters to investigate the possibility of admitting women,â€ said Tony Weiss, Virginia Jaycees executive vice president.
â€œSt. Paul, Minnesota, was the only city where the [investigation] got off the ground and was successful,â€ Weiss said.
After evaluating the results in all five chapters, the U.S. Jaycees decided against admitting women and told the St. Paul chapter that its female members would have to become associate members, he said.
He said the St. Paul chapter refused to include women and â€œenlisted the support of the Minnesota Attorney Generalâ€ in bringing a lawsuit against the national organization.
After passing through three smaller courts, the battle eventually went before the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled on July 3 that the Minnesota chapter could not exclude women, Weiss said.
He said the high court based its decision on Minnesotaâ€™s Public Accommodation Law, which states that a business cannot discriminate by refusing to provide services.
Weiss said the Supreme Court considered the Jaycees to be a business. â€œThey felt the Jaycees was a leadership training ground, and such a good organization that it couldnâ€™t be kept for just one gender,â€ he said.
Because 37 other states besides Minnesota have laws similar to the Public Accommodation Law, the U.S. Jaycees felt other law suits were â€œpretty much something that was going to come anyway, and we might as well take the initiative [nationwide] and make a positive move,â€ Burton said.
Although there is a â€œwide range of opinionsâ€ among the current membership about including women, Burton said, â€œSeveral of us will do everything possible to make a positive move.
|Tags||national media, student publications|
|Date Added||August 8, 2016|
|Date Modifed||December 9, 2017|
|Collection||Cavalier Daily: articles about gender discrimination|
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