Social codes/rules

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Rules Committee Presents Proposal; Senate Advocates Faculty Approval

The report of the Student Senate Committee on Social Rules to the Faculty Committee on Social Rules was published in The Dickinsonian. The report addresses social rules that pertained to drinking downstairs in fraternities while female students were upstairs, privacy (or, as the reported defined it, the the separation of two persons of the opposite sexes from others), and what other college policies were regarding visiting hours for women. The report listed rules at other colleges, including Swarthmore, Stanford, Reed, Oberlin, Yale, and Haverford.

Date: October 8, 1965
Women vote to accept the honor code

An article by Diane Voneida in The Dickinsonian, "Women Dormitory Residents Vote to Accept Honor Code," explains that over 89 percent of freshman, sophomore, and junior women voted in favor of adopting the honor code at dormitory meetings. The dean of women, Barbara Wishmeyer, approved of the students' decisions, thinking that it would create a more healthy attitude and atmosphere on campus. Under this code, women could appeal rules they thought unfair rather than disobeying them outright. The code also required personal responsibility from each woman for her own behavior.

Date: May 1, 1964
General Instructions for Women Students

According to the 1958 student handbook, female students were expected to be "mature, poised, and self-reliant. They should show courtesy and consideration to others, and in all their relationships should be friendly, cultured, and forthright." The handbook further outlines instructions on dress (which should be "dignified" and "neat"), speech (which should be "calm and stright-forward, never evasive, boisterous or vulgar") and conduct.

Date: 1958
What are the rules again?

In a letter to the editor of The Dickinsonian, JoAnne Harris discusses the social rules for co-eds at Dickinson College. She discusses the benefits accrued by the "Rules Experiment" when the college permitted more drinking and loosened social rules. She explained why she believed the college needed to take a more rigid stance on drinking rules, but she asserted that co-eds would need to exercise personal responsibility in Fraternity houses regardless of the rules or their enforcement.

Date: October 4, 1963
The Coloring Book

The Dickinsonian began a series of illustrations meant to function as a coloring book. In one of these illustrations, a woman in a tight skirt leans against a wall and appears to be either bored or asleep. The caption beneath this illustration indicates how Dickinson students may have felt about the rules and regulations governing female students: "This is a Dickinson Coed. The college protects her virtue with many rules and regulations. Color her bored."

Date: February 15, 1963
Blue Laws for Metzgerites

The Dickinsonian observed Dickinson's 90th Birthday by reprinting old pictures and articles, trying to capture the history of Dickinson as it related to the students of the '60s.

Date: October 5, 1962
Fraternity Social Functions-Dinner

Under the Fraternity Social Functions section under the 1957 student handbook, female students were allowed to attend evening dinners at fraternity houses under the following regulations:

  • one chaperone must be present
  • female students were not allowed to arrive prior than 5:45pm and stay past 7:15pm
  • the dinner must have been registered with the Dean of Women by the Wednesday before the event
  • the president and officers were responsible for "conduct" as well as "maintaining the established hours of arrival and departure"
Date: 1957
Women's Rules 1956-57

The list of "women's rules" included in the 1956-57 student handbook was modified from a list of nine rules to seven that freshman students were required to adhere to.

Date: 1956
garlowc3.jpg

According to the official minutes of Sui Generis, a local women's sorority with a non-selective policy, the proposal of a Social Rules Evaluation Committee was approved in 1961. The main purpose of the Committee was to create a system of accountability for those members of sororities who were caught drinking.

Date: February 20, 1961
Rooms

Under the "rooms" section of the student handbook of 1949-50, is a description of material items provided by the college to female and male students. Female students were supplied with "the necessary furniture, and rugs, curtains, bureau covers, waste baskets, and lamp." Male students were supplied with "all the necessary heavy furniture, such as, beds, study table, dressers, waste basket, a study light, and chairs." Female students were cautioned not to bring electrical items nor post pictures to the walls.
 

Date: 1949