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Date: c. 1943

Clipped from a newspaper between 1941 and 1946 and placed in Marion Bell's personal scrapbook, this snippet shows the rules and regulations regarding women's attire at Dickinson. Marion Bell was known to wear slacks and this made her quite a rebel against this school rule. See Marion Bell, the Anti-Anti Bifurcationist.

Date: May 21, 1943

President Corson recommended to the Board of Trustees that the college give Josephine Brunyate Meredith "the honor of being the first woman elected to a full professorship at Dickinson College" in the English Department. Meredith had served as Dean of Women and an Associate Professor of English since 1922. The president added that offering the dean this position would not entail raising her salary or giving her a permament appointment as the head of this department.

Date: October, 1943

Included in the "Social Situation for the Guidance of Women Students" is a list of "Social opportunities" offered to female students and Army Air Force cadets. Social opportunities include regulations on walking in couples, hiking in groups, bicycling, horseback riding, buggy and carriage riding, bowling, tennis, movies, dances and dancing, prohibition, and out-of-town social events.

"Modus Operandi" (Method of Operation) is a section in a memo on the "Social Situation for the Guidance of Women Students" on social relationships between cadets and female students. The document states that "social relationships between women students and cadets will be managed through a Conference and Appointment Bureau." The purpose of this bureau was to "introduce cadets to women students and to carry out the regulations set by the administration."  This bureau operated only while the cadets were on campus.

Under the "Social Situation for the Guidance of Women Students," female students were prohibited from entering bars, taprooms, or liquor stores. Regardless if female students were "escorted" or consumed alcohol they were restricted from entering any "liquor selling establishments."

According to the "Social Situation for the Guidance of Women Students," couples (defined as female students and male Army Air Force cadets) were only allowed to walk along the "main-traveled" streets of Carlisle and as far as the "paved roads extend." Women were required to wear "correct street attire."

Under the "Social Situation for the Guidance of Women Students," Sunday mornings, afternoons, and evenings (until 9:30-when the dormitory closed for the night) were regulated. Sunday mornings female students were allowed to attend church services accompanied by an Army Air Force cadet, but social activities were prohibited. Sunday afternoons female students were allowed to go for a "walk, hike, bicycle, visit and play games at the dormitories," however, women were restricted from playing tennis and dancing in the dormitories.

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: November 30, 1943

During World War II, Air Crew Cadets received training on Dickinson's campus. According to this Dickinsonian article, all unmarried cadets were required to register a record of their hobbies and interests with the Conferece and Appointment Bureau to be "placed on file and used as a reference if and when the cadet desires a date."  The committee responsible included Jane Bowen, Louise Faupel, Joan Thatcher, and Ruth Wallace.  Marjorie Barkman and Lt. Cloval Cook served as faculty/administrative supervisors. 

Date: 1944

In the 1944 Microcosm, the Dickinsonian is staffed mostly by female students with Kathleen Briner as the editor-in-chief. The 1943 Microcosm reveals that the Dickinsonian had mostly male students on its staff as well as a male editor-in-chief. In 1944, the description for the Dickinsonian cites the difficulties the staff faced due to wartime shortages and their efforts to send copies of the newspaper to Dickinson's servicemen.

According to the Microcosm, Helen Kretschmar, Elinor Derr, and Catherine Stern were awarded blazers for being the three junior women with the highest score in competitions hosted by the Women's Athletic Association Council. Competitions included badminton, ping-pong, interclass volleyball, interfraternity basketball, interclass basketball, bowling, softball, and tennis. The women's sports program also offered non-competitive hockey, equestrianism, badminton, and swimming, among other sports.

The features of the 1944 Microcosm presents Dickinson's "Pin-up Girls": students selected the ten "most attractive" females from Dickinson and sent their photographs to a judge in order to determine the top five. For 1944, the top five women selected were: Edith Ann Lingle, Barbara Mulford, Wilma Barkalow, Lucille Sweet, and Ann Gates.

Included in Marion Bell's scrapbook is a song composed by the Metzger Girls about their Dean, Josephine Meredith:
"We are the girls from old Metzger Hall,
We might as well be within prison walls,
For the "Creep" is always there,
Lurking behind each door and chair,
She never laughs and she never smiles,
She disapproves of us and our styles,
As we girls go screaming by
She utters with a sigh:
"Nice girls don't scream."
In Metzger Hall we ain't got no mice,

The Anti-Bifurcation Act at Dickinson College prevented women from wearing "bifurcated garments, elongated or exposed shirt-tails or any other freakish costumes" when not in the privacy of their own rooms. This was to prevent "unfavorable public criticism, directed against both the women of the college and the college itself."  This Act was to be in effect from the time of its enactment (1944) until "an indefinite, far-future date."

The Microcosm's page on the Debate Squad referenced the effect of World War II on the size of the team. As a result of the lack of male "veterans," three women tried out for the team during the first semester and were the first women "in recent history" to represent Dickinson in forensic contests. According to the Microcosm, President Corson approved their participation in the debate squad and hoped that more women would become involved every year.

Professor Russell I. Thompson writes in a letter to President Boyd Lee Spahr about his ideas for the future of the college. He suggests the creation of a more specific position for the dean of women, calling the position as it stood then an "anamolous" one. He believes that the dean of women should be more than just a house mother or supervisor of Metzger Hall: instead, the dean should guide all the women of the college.

Professor Russell I. Thompson strongly urges Board of Trustees President Boyd Lee Spahr to lobby aggressively for the construction of a new women's dormitory, arguing that "Metzger Hall has long since served its purpose." He suggests the building should be sufficient to house 125 to 150 students.

Date: March 9, 1944

The Dickinsonian reports that the Pan-Hellenic dance, chaired by Ellen Morrow, would be scaled back from previous years. According to the president of the Pan-Hellenic Council, Elinor G. Derr, they would not hire a professional interior decorator and would use records for music. The dance would be  Pan-Hellenic Week's only all-College event.

Date: April 27, 1944

The Dickinsonian reports that Nancy Person was elected as its next editor-in-chief and Marjorie Monroe as its next business manager at the Editorial Board Meeting of April 18, 1944. The article lists the students' previous experience with journalism: both students worked on newspaper staffs during high school and served on the Dickinsonian prior to their election.

Date: May 27, 1944

President Fred Pierce Corson reported to the Board of Trustees that the college would have a full enrollment of female students. However, he cautioned that increasing the number of women students would also increase costs for the college due to the need for new facilities and other additions. The college would lose money in the process unless it changed the quota policy for women. There is no indication in the minutes that this suggestion was accepted by the Board.

Date: July 17, 1944

An issue of the Free Dickinsonian called for the college administration to tear down East College, or "Old East;" to require resident students, including women, to eat in the cafeteria; and to create a smoker's lounge. According to the Free Dickinsonian, there was a "new fad" during the 1940s: female smokers. Other colleges, like Williams College and Penn Hall School, had recognized this "new fad." The Free Dickinsonian argued that, in the next decade, the college should install a smoking lounge in Metzger Hall for the co-ed students.

Date: September 8, 1944

Interviewed by the staff of the Dickinsonian, Dean Josephine B. Meredith is quoted as saying that she liked "teaching students who provide me with such a unique response." According to the article, the dean could not analyze the reason for the students' responsiveness. She congratulated the newly-formed Chapel Committee on its chapel programs. She advised the men to organize their own student senate separate from the women's student senate. The dean's interviewer also asked whether or not she would do anything about the "eleven o' clock rule at Metzger," or the women's curfew.

Date: October 1944

Like the permission form for missing meals, this document lists the reasons for permission and the ways to get permission to miss a meal.
PERMISSION, Reason for: 1) We want to be able to locate students at once.
2) We want to be able to protect you against mistaken reports'
3) We want to avoid unnecessary work.
4) We want to avoid wasting your ration points.
NOTE: Permission to be absent from meals is also permission for you to be somewhere else. It is not merely a way of accounting for an empty place in the dining room.

Date: October 1, 1944

Telephone usage was only allowed during specified times during the day. The only phone in Metzger Hall was located in the Dean of Women's office.

Date: December 9, 1944

On December 9, 1944, an Executive Committee meeting for the Board of Trustees voted to pass on President Boyd Lee Spahr's recommendations on the admission of women to Dickinson College to the entire Board of Trustees. They do not specify exactly which recommendation they adopted.

In President Boyd Lee Spahr's report to the Board of Trustees, he discusses the possible acquisition of the Shearer Property on the "northwest corner of College and Louther Streets" for the construction of a women's dormitory. A local real estate agent had tipped the college off to the sale of the property for an estimated $18,000. When the college offered the sum to the seller, however, it was declined, and the president explains that the property might not even be desirable as a location for a new women's dormitory.

President Cornelius William Prettyman argues in a letter to the Board of Trustees that Dickinson College should become "a coeducational college in the true sense of the term." He points out that 163 of the 253 students at the college were women and that, in the future, this number would only continue to grow. He adds that women "are entering college in ever greater numbers." Thus, he recommends that Dickinson College educate both male and female students in equal numbers and wishes to enforce a 50-50 ratio of female to male students.

In response to President Prettyman's call for coeducation "in the true sense of the term," the Board of Trustees did not take any action. They considered the recommendation to change the ratio of male and female students but chose to do nothing because "action had already been taken sufficient to cover the case." The minutes do not explain to which action this statement refers.

Date: circa 1945

This card was created for women who needed or wished to leave campus for a certain period of time. It required information about the trip: the day and hour of departure and arrival back on campus, whom was to be visited, how the student would be traveling, and a disclaimer and signature signed by her parents agreeing that should an accident take place, the College would not be held accountable once the student left campus. Dean Meredith collected and approved these notices.

Since the College deemed automobiles unnecessary for female students who lived in the dormitories, permission was necessary for students who wished to keep an automobile on campus for a special reason for a short period of time. This slip was required to receive permission to keep an automobile on campus, providing that the information provided proved to the college that a car was necessary.

Any absence from a class, college event, or even meal required notification or a pass for an excuse. The College required its female students to provide information about their location if they could not make College or dormitory functions. In an era without cell phones, knowledge regarding female students' welfare and location were considered critical in protecting its students.

Like the permission forms for an automobile and absences from meals, these two slips provided information for the College/ dormitory regarding its female students' whereabouts and plans for Saturday. It required information regarding places and times of social programs and the evening meal, and who would be escorting that woman. The evening slip also provides spaces for listing movies location and dance locations. This ensured the safety of female Dickinsonians.

"Concerning Automobiles" lists the rules and regulations governing female students and transportation. No women who lives in a dorm on campus was permitted to keep a car in Carlisle unless speical permission was granted. This was to ensure their safety and prevent automobile accidents involving students. However, female students were allowed to ride in automobiles during the day without permission if the distance was short and the trip was for less than an hour.

This packet provides information about etiquette for female Dickinsonians in all aspects of dining, from invitations and thank yous, who pays etc.,  to the physical act of eating itself. The graphic here demonstrates how women should act when ordering at a hotel:

For female Dickinsonians, this article tries to help students manage their studies while involving themselves in an extra-curricular, as well as participating in the social side of campus life. Sunday, however, remains for church and relaxing.
For mental and physical comfort, it reads:
a. A minimum of 8 hours a day of concentrated work
b. A minimum of 1 hour a day of outdoor exercise
c. A minimuim of 1 hour a day or rest or reading
d. A minimum of 8 hours a night of sleep.

Biddle House was formerly the home of Edward W. Biddle, a Dickinson College alumnus and trustee. The building was purchased by the college on December 14, 1946 for about $25,000. The first use of it was as a women's dormitory in the 1940s.

Date: c1945

This photo depicts the women's swim team and their fans, c1945. The women in the photo are unidentified.

This photo depicts a groupd of female Dickinsonians playing tennis, c1945.

Date: 1945

Marion V. Bell (Class of 1946), sister of Whitfield Bell, appears in the 1945 Microcosm with glasses and slacks. News editor of The Dickinsonian, Bell is described as liking "slacks, apples, and long walks." The Microcosm also describes Bell as being an "anti-anti-bifurcationist" (anti-bifurcation rules prevented female students from wearing slacks).

The 1945 Microcosm lists the editor-in-chief of the Dickinsonian as Nancy Person. Similar to 1944, the staff was dominated by female students in 1945 as the World War II continued to place strains on human resources at the college. Marjorie M. Arnold was the Business Manager for 1945.

The 1945 Microcosm presented Dickinson's "Varga Girls" in its features section. A photograph of Varga himself, signed "Best Wishes to Microcosm," indicates that the artist selected Dickinson's "Varga Girls." These women included: Ann Gates, Barbara Mulford, Dorothy Nagle, Alma Anderson, and Marion Clowes.

Date: c. 1945

This slip granted permission for female students to go on an automobile trip. It required the name of the student, the times of departure and return to campus, the reason for the trip and where the trip was to end, and who would be in the car with the student. If the purpose of the trip was not deemed necessary, permission would not be granted.

Date: June 2, 1945

Dean Ernest A. Vuilleumier reports to the Board of Trustees that the college was operating four separate buildings--Metzger Hall, the Gibbs House, the Parker House, and the Phi Delta Theta House--as women's dormitories. The dean viewed this situation as unsatisfactory and argued for "the very great need for a new dormitory for women." He urged the Board to make plans for the construction of a women's dormitory as soon as possible.

Date: September 5, 1945

This letter, dated September 5, 1945, was written by Esther Popel Shaw, the first African American female graduate of Dickinson College 1919, to Mr. Boyd Lee Spahr of the Board of Trustees. Writing from her post at the National Association of College Women, Esther Popel Shaw defends herself and her race against Spahr's "apparent lack of awareness of what constitutes acceptable designations when racial references are involved" as well as racial injustice when it comes to college housing for African American students.

Date: December 9, 1945

"Suggestions Considered Requisite by the Students of Dickinson College For the Improvement of the College," labelled the "Atrocity Sheet Circulated by Dickinson Students" in Marion Bell's 1941-1946 Scrapbook lists many student complaints including those against Dickinson's food, service, and need for a President, but most notable are those against the Women's Dean, Dean Josephine Meredith.

Date: December 15, 1945

A document entitled "Suggestions Considered Requisite by the Students of Dickinson College for the Improvement of the College" was distributed to faculty and trustees on December 15, 1945. The first "suggestion" was the appointment of a "recognized educator" as president to replace the committee of three ruling the college at the time. According to the document, the "lack of individual authority prevents decisions." The second and longest suggestion asks for the appointment of a new dean of women. The document calls Dean Josephine B.

In "Suggestions Considered Requisite by the Students of Dickinson College for the Improvement of the College" distributed to faculty and trustees on December 15, 1945, students explain the need for the appointment of a new Dean of Women, calling the Dean of Women Josephine B. Meredith "incompetent as a personal advisor." According to the document, she does not give women students sympathy in personal matters and places them on probation without adequate grounds.

"Suggestions Considered Requisite by the Students of Dickinson College for the Improvement of the College," a document distributed to faculty and trustees on December 15, 1945, claims that the Dean of Women dealt with female students "in bad faith" by breaking promises. The document cites two cases in which the Dean of Women broke promises: in one case, the dean tried to discover who had disobeyed a ruling by promising to revoke disciplinary action for those who confessed.

Distributed to faculty and trustees on December 15, 1945, "Suggestions Considered Requisite by the Students of Dickinson College for the Improvement of the College" calls for the appointment of a new dean of women. The document cites the numerous occasions on which the dean "defamed the character of the women students" by ridiculing them and calling into question their moral judgement.

"Suggestions Considered Requisite by the Students of Dickinson College for the Improvement of the College," distributed to faculty and trustees on December 15, 1945, documents the reasons for the appointment of a new dean of women.