Women's Student Government Association

Dean Josephine B. Meredith's Report "Women at Dickinson College", circa 1935

circa 1935

During her time as the Dean of Women at Dickinson College, Dean Josephine Meredith wrote a report entitled "Women at Dickinson College." Dean Meredith, an early female graduate of Dickinson College (class of 1901), utilized both her experiences as a female student and the Dean of Women to compile a report on the conditions for and experiences of female students. Thus, in 18 sections, she highlights living conditions, extracurricular life, social life, religious life, and academic life at the College.

Freshman Women Must Wear Arm Bands

September 25, 1922

The September 25, 1922 minutes from the Women's Student Senate discussed various affairs, one particularly emphasized was the case of female freshmen rules. It was decided that freshmen women had to wear arm bands to breakfast and on their coats. Failure to comply with this rule caused the creation of the "freshman rule", as one woman learned. She had been a freshman at a previous college and then came here, refusing to wear her arm band.

Women's Student Senate Discusses the Possibility of a Joint Senate

November 7, 1921

On November 7, 1921 the minutes for the Women's Student Senate were documented and the idea of a joint Senate was brought forth. Margaret Eslinger was appointed the chairman of a committee that would talk to President Morgan about joining the women's Student Senate with the men's. No conclusion to the joint senate idea was mentioned in these minutes.

Special Meeting Called by Women's Student Senate for the President's Resignation

April 4, 1921

On April 4th, 1921, a special meeting was called for the resignation of the president of the Student Senate and was documented in the Women's Student Senate minutes. At this special meeting, the Dean of Women, Josephine Meredith, attended and explained that "certain matters of discipline [were] under consideration" for the president of the Student Senate. The president of the Student Senate's resignation letter was read at the meeting in order to make the resignation finalized.

Possibility of Having a Female Cheerleader Discussed at Women's Student Senate Meeting

October 25, 1920

The minutes from the Women's Student Senate meeting on October 25, 1920 discuss issues brought to the association. One of these issues was the possibility of having a female cheerleader and what they should do about the matter. Another issue brought forth was the permission to allow females to march to games as a body. No resolution on either of these issues was documented in the minutes.

The College Cracks Down on Female Students' Excursions

April 24, 1940

Because of a recent tragic death of a female student at a nearby college, Dean Meredith and the College crack down on the rules regarding the female students' travel plans. Women are now required to get an "Absence from Metzger" card every time the student wishes to go on a trip overnight or late at night. This card supplies information both to the college and at home of where the student will be staying, with whom, who will be driving and when they will return.

Fraternities Must Chaperone Women Visitors

November 13, 1941

Dean Ernest A. Vuilleumier reminds the Dickinson College Fraternities about the regulations against unchaperoned female visitors. According to the rule's creation in 1936, it is stated that, "women visitors shall be admitted to fraternity houses without chaperonage approved by the dean of the college." Suitable chaperones that are available without further formalities are mothers of fraternity members, mothers of guests, or faculty member's wives. Only in certain cases where other chaperones are contemplated then it is necessary to secure special authorization from the Dean of the College.

Dean Meredith Reminds the New Students Not to Forget their Napkin Rings (and Other Such Things...)

September 2, 1924

Dean Meredith writes to the young women of Dickinson College about their first day back to school. She gives the ladies specific times to arrive on campus and methods for travel. Dean Meredith also gives answers to questions the new students will probably ask, such as recommended room equipment. She recommends certain things, such as white curtains for the windows, glass and spoon for medicine, cushion covers, hot water bottle and a napkin ring.

Dean Meredith Reassures the Parents of Freshman Female Students

September 5,1924

Dean Meredith writes to the Parents of Women Day Students about some suggestions for their daughter's benefit, as well as some strictly enforced regulations. She proclaims that during the first six weeks of college, "no freshman woman...is allowed to attend social functions in Carlisle and thereafter only when her work is of passing grade" If a woman is to attend a social function, it must be approved by the Dean of Women, Dean Meredith and be chaperoned by college chaperons.