Women's Group

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Social Opinion Survey

The newly-formed Women's Group issued the "Social Opinion Survey" in the hopes of learning "the opinions of students concerning the social atmosphere, the academic situation, and housing" as well as "the relationships between the sexes." The Group claimed to be issuing the survey in conjunction with Dean Mary Francis Carson. Some examples of questions in the survey include:
All other things being equal, would you prefer your present dorm to be coed in some form?
Do you feel there is a set standard or pattern for relationships with the opposite sex at Dickinson?

Date: 1971-72
Homecoming Queen Candidates

A photo of Homecoming Queen candidates is posted in the issue of Dickinsonian. Surprisingly a male, Philip Cohen, representing the Women's Group was running as a candidate.
The other candidates were:
-Nancy Wells(Kappa Sigma)
-Phillip Cohen(Women's Group)
-Sherry Allshouse(Adams Hall)
-Brenda Liebowitz(SAE)
-Kate Wilhelm(Phi Delt)
-Susie Martin(Phi Psi)
-Charlene Vees(Phi Ep)
-Connie Pifer(Theta Chi)
-Evelyn Reback(Sigma Chi)
-Sandy Smith(Crow)
-Penney Ross(Beta)

Date: October 6, 1972
This will have little impact on our campus

President Howard L. Rubendall responded to Chauncey M. Depuy's inquiry about the Social Opinion Survey of the Women's Group. According to Rubendall, this survey represents the "first evidence" of the Women's Liberation movement at Dickinson College, but he assures Depuy that "this will have little impact on our campus, which in the main is a campus of serious students getting their parents' money's worth...." Rubendall writes that the campus has been able to adapt to the lives of students while not giving into pressures or demands.

Date: March 20, 1972
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
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
An Excellent Head-Straightener

A member of the Women's Group published two lists of questions as well as an introductory statement for these questions. The questions emerged from the author's involvement with the Women's Group and human groups. The author explains that the questions "constitute a facilitating tool which draws on the fields of group dynamics...and clinical psychology." She encourages members of the group to take their time answering the questions and to work in pairs.
Examples of questions include:
What skills do I bring to the group?

Date: 1971-72
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
Women's Group Roster

The Office of Student Services published a list of members of the Women's Group for the 1971-72 Academic Year. These women included: Melissa Maholick, Debby Marcus, Barbara Levering, Kathy Jaquith, Beverly Burns, Cindy Hawley, Joan Eltonhead, Millie Harden, Donna J. Young, Kerry Kushinka, Rita Donegan, Abby Adams, Jane Holloway, Linda Keppel, Sharon Jenkins, and Ann Reinberger. It also listed the contact information for these women.

Date: 1971-72