"Woman's Student Government" in " Women at Dickinson College" - by Josephine Brunyate Meredith

circa 1935

Meredith's historical account of women's experiences at Dickinson College is further developed in her exploration of womens' interests and roles within student organizations. She dedicates several pages in her essay to explore specific organizations such as: Woman's Student Government; Y. W. C. A. and Religious life; Sunday Services; Literary Societies; Music; Dramatics; Girls Fraternities and Co-educational Organizations.

Woman's Student Government

Meredith seems to be very proud of Women's Student Government and how well it ran. She claims that all of its rules are based on 1 of 3 ideas: to safeguard study, to safeguard health, or to safeguard confortable and conventional living conditions.


Meredith served as the Woman's Student Government advisor and trainer, and while she would sit in during some meetings and handle some disciplinary problems delegated to her by the officers in the organization, the Woman's Student Government ran by itself. "All the petty discipline, the training of Freshmen, enforcement of rules, changing rules to suit varying conditions (changes for holidays etc) is in direct charge of the students," Meredith asserts, but clarifies that when it came to making entirely new rules, the women were required to submit their ideas to her first and then they would compromise.

The number of student officers was not large, but they would encourage participation by forming many committees designated for "special work" (specific tasks). When new officers were less capable, the older women would step in and help/teach them.