"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.
According to the 1963 publication of "Red Tape," female students were expected to abide by strict rules concerning closing hours of dormitory halls. Students were not allowed to leave the dormitory prior to 6:30 am unless special permission was granted by the House Director. Female students were strongly "urged no to be outside her dormitory after dark" unless accompanied by another female student.
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.
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.
Winona Mensch Gray (Class of 1948) describes female dormitory life during World War II in an interview. Gray lived in Metzger Hall during her freshman and sophomore years. She was only one of two sophomores who lived in the hall. She describes Metzger Hall as an "old building with high ceilings." There was a dining room in the basement and wash basins down the hall for laundry. The dean of women lived on the second floor in an apartment. She remembers the beds being uncomfortable.
In an interview with Helen Alexander Bachman (Class of 1946), the Dickinson alumnus describes the rules for student conduct and dress codes during the World War II period. Dean Josephine Meredith supervised the women, requiring them to sign in and out of their dorms, to act in a lady-like manner, and to avoid drinking. Moreover, female students needed to receive signed permission from parents if they wanted to visit home for the weekend. Bachman explains that these rules "existed to protect the girls...." Dress codes for the female students were strict; they coudl not wear slacks.