1880-1889

"I was a Co-ed": Female Students felt Alienated from College

Date
1951

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low remembers how she felt alienated as an early female student at Dickinson College. Low wrote, "Dickinson stressed the idea that women were admitted through the front door, on the same footing as men. This was only partially true. The men had their fraternities, their old established societies, glee and other musical clubs, athletics, field days, games through which contacts were made with the best colleges in the land. They were free to do many things proscribed for us...

"I was a Co-ed": Sorting Yarn in Gym Class

Date
1951

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low remembers her women's gym class. According to Low, women's gym classes were "even worse" than men's gym classes. Low explained, "Gym came two days in succession, and we were so stiff we could scarcely move, and by the time we were limbered up, it was gym day again." Moreover, women's gym classes greatly differed from men's as the college believed that female students were "'too delicately adjusted.'" Instead, the gym instructor had the women sort yarn.

"I was a Co-ed": Socializing Among Female Students

Date
1951

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low remembers the close realtionships shared among many early female students. She wrote that, "for the most part, the girls got along one with the other. However, not all were included in our walks." Low described how the women took long walks together, often while reading Shakespeare to each other. The women walked on High Street and "nearly always past Moorland." Furthermore, Low wrote, "We never, but once, met any male students, as they ran mostly on Hanover Street."
 

"I was a Co-ed": Female Students Insist upon "Inspecting" Elizabeth Low's New Room

Date
1951

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low remembers the day she became a boarder of Miss Annie Rhoads who lived on the corner of West and Pomfret Streets.  Low wrote that she "lost no time" and immediately went to speak to Miss Rhoads so as to secure the room. Consequently, Low had no time to discuss her decision with the other female students. Low explained, "The change was so quickly accomplished that I had not told the Junior and Sophomore co-eds, but they soon found out and came round to inspect my room.

"I was a Co-ed": Coeducation in Dickinson's Prep School

Date
1951

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low remembers her early days as a female student in the Preparatory School. She explained that there was little hostitlity toward female students in the Prep School. She explains that "There was not co-ed problem in the Prep. The boys made no distinction. Had we been refused admission to the society, we would have taken English in class." According to Low, however, black students were not affroded the same acceptance as white female students.

"I was a Co-ed": Female Students and the Role of the Dickinsonian

Date
1951

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low remembers the the role the Dickinsonian played in the lives of female students. Though female students were prohibited from writing for the Dickinsonian, much information regarding female students was included in the college newspaper.

"I was a Co-ed": Treatment of Female Students by Male Dickinsonians

Date
1951

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low remembers the treatment of female students by their male peers. She recalled that, "Some of these [female students] were attractive, charming young girls, but they were all co-eds, and woe to the one who tried to force herself to a recognition that was not given voluntarily." She further explains that "Personality was a factor, of course, and when linked to fine scholarship won not only the respect but admiration of male students. Some were ignored."

"I was a Co-ed": Elizabeth Low Describes the Demographics of the Early Female Students at Dickinson

Date
1951

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low describes the backgrounds of early female students. She recalled that the group of early female Dickinsonians included the "daughters of Methodist ministers, the grandaughter of a Bishop, two daughters of members of the faculty, the daughter of the Rector of the Episcople Church in Carlisle, a jewess, and a Mennonitor, who did not wear Dunkard." Moreover, Low remembered that many female students had "come from families who had moved to the town to educate their children" and some commuted.

"I was a Co-ed": A Studious "Co-ed"

Date
1951

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low remembered a studious female student. According to Low, "She did not take gym, nor join us on walks. Her time was spent in study. I never saw her at a game, an evening reception, nor a contest. She hesitated to go with us when we had a group picture taken on account of the time it would consume, but finally consented." In the end, the student Low described became a prominent missionary in India.

"I was a Co-ed": Female Students at the College and the Prep School

Date
1951

In her memoir recounting her experiences as an early female student at Dickinson College, Low discusses the relationships between early female students of the college and the prep school affiliated with Dickinson. She explained that "these girls made no distinction because I was in Preparatory School. We read together, sometimes Browning which I had been taught to consider strictly highbrow." Throughout her memoir, Low speaks of the close relationship shared between female college and prep students.