Social codes/rules

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Growing Permissiveness

In "The View from Here," Tom Fornwalt responds to a New York Times article of April 25, 1966 that addresses the university's role in student life. According to this article, some universities surveyed were reluctant to legislate student conduct "in loco parentis," although they have been slow to adjust to the sexual revolution. University officials expressed more concern with drug use than with students' sexual behavior.

Date: May 13, 1966
Rules for Freshman Women-1941

Included in the 1941 student handbook is a list of six rules freshman students were required to adhere to. Freshman women were expected to wear armbands, rise when the Dean of Women or any other college official entered the room, women were required to speak to all professors and their wives, "give the right of precedence to the women of the upper classes," and were required to know "something of the college history."

Date: September 1941
Dear Sam

President of the College Howard L. Rubendall responded to Samuel W. Witwer's letter in regards to the Social Opinion Survey of the Women's Group. He assures Witwer that Dean of Women Mary F. Carson had nothing to do with the survey and was offended by it. He adds that the Women's Group is not part of the mainstream or the sorority group at Dickinson College and was considered by peers to be "stupid and ridiculous." The president also tells the story of a Commencement speaker who inquired after the presence of the Women's Liberation Movement on campus.

Date: August 29, 1972
Dear Bud

The president of the Board of Trustees, Samuel W. Witwer, wrote to the president of the College, Howard L. Rubendall, in regards to the Women's Group "Social Opinion Survey." Witwer had heard complaints about the survey but had ignored them until he received a copy of the questionnaire. He referred to the survey as "cheap, tawdry, ill mannered, and bad taste [sic]." He suggests that members of the Women's Group "must be totally preoccupied with matters of sex." He insists that the College does not permit a wide variety of sexual conduct.

Date: August 16, 1972
Noise During Quiet or Study Hours

According to Metzger Hall government document, women were punished with a Saturday afternoon campus (students were forced to remain in a room without callers from 1:30pm to 5pm) for violating quiet and study hours. Violations included, boisterousness, banging doors, whistling, washing, baths, hair drying, and ironing.

Date: 1943
Table Manners

According to memo on the Social Situation for the Guidance of Women in 1943, women were required to adhere to the following recommendation, "it will wise for all young American women to pay strict attention to formal manners at the table." Available at Denny were books on formal manners, which were "valuable for guidance."

Date: October, 1943
Not in the Mainstream

Paul E. Kaylor reported his meeting with Dean Mary Carson regarding the Women's Group Social Opinion Survey in a memorandum to President Howard L. Rubendall. Kaylor gives the background of the Women's Group, stating that students "not normally in the 'mainstream' of campus life" formed it the previous year. As a student organization, the group does not fall under rigid administrative control, though, according to Kaylor, the administration had been working to channel the group's efforts.

Date: August 21, 1972
Letter from Rubendall

President Howard L. Rubendall responds to Vincent Schafmeister's second letter of March 23 on behalf of Mary Frances Carson. Rubendall does not specifically cite the Social Opinion Survey or the Women's Group in his response, instead writing that Schafmeister's choice to inform the President of the Board of Trustees about his concerns was "most appropriate."

Date: March 29, 1972
Bringing down all Dickinson women

In his response to Dean of Women Mary Watson Carson, Alumni Trustee Vincent Schafmeister says of the Social Opinion Survey of the Women's Group, "sort of shakes up an old, stuffy conservative such as I." He declines the dean's offer to put him into contact with members of the group in order to determine their objectives, saying he is more interested in the role of the Office of Student Services in encouraging this organization. He references the "frightful negatives" and the suffering of the college as consequences of this kind of encouragement.

Date: March 23, 1972
The Women's Group

Responding to Vincent Schafmeister's request for a clearer copy of the Social Opinion Survey distributed by the Women's Group, Dean of Women Mary Watson Carson procures a copy from the Women's Group and encloses it in her letter to Schafmeister.

Date: March 14, 1972