Elisabeth Zinser did something this month that University of Idaho presidents have done for years - she joined Boise's Arid Club.

But she is only the second woman to sign up with the posh club that earlier barred women from its ranks of Idaho's top political and business leaders."The president of the University of Idaho is a leadership position," Zinser said.

"It is important for people in those positions to have ample opportunities . . . to talk with one another outside the context of formal boardrooms and formal agendas."

Zinser took over as the the university's first woman president a few months after the club's narrow vote in February 1989 to allow woman members. She chose to delay accepting a membership nomination until other Idaho women paved the way.

Sharon Allen, a partner in charge of audits in Boise for the Deloitte and Touche accounting firm became the first woman member in May.