VERSA | Oxford’s elite Gridiron club votes to accept female members

For those who don’t know what it is, the Gridiron – commonly known as The Grid, is a dining club for Old Etonians and friends located above Pizza Express. Members enjoy discounted pizza in a private room accompanied by copies of the daily broadsheets. David Cameron was president of the club during his time at Oxford, and former members include John LeCarré. Some in Oxford see it as the pinnacle of elitism. If the pinnacle of Oxford’s elitism is people eating pizza with friends, we really do have a problem…

Angus Nicholson, the club’s president, had this to say about the decision: ‘It’s fantastic news and I’m delighted with the result. The vote was very close to passing last time and I think, as it was a low turn-out, it was a more vocal minority that influenced that outcome. This vote was a truer reflection of how the members of the Gridiron feel. Having been founded when Oxford was predominantly a male institution, it is right that the Club now will accept members of both sexes. Myself and the Committee feel this decision can only improve the Club.’

He refers to a similar vote taken in 2014, which failed. The Gridiron requires a two-thirds majority for constitutional change, which was not achieved then. In this vote, however, over three-quarters of the club’s membership was in support of the amendment.

The Gridiron is clearly proud of what the president’s email to members described as ‘a momentous day’, but no doubt there will be some who say that a centuries old club with membership limited to only the elite is still an anachronism in today’s Oxford.