In a lengthy letter to President Morgan, Dean Meredith discussed chaperons, the inadequacy of Metzger Hall Staff, the running of Metzger Hall, and her family's situation. Most interestingly, Meredith wrote about a woman she met in Harrisburg named Dr. Taylor. According to the letter, Dr. Taylor is willing to give "six to eight talks" to Female Dickinsonians on "the care of the health and sex hygiene." Dean Meredith explained that "Our girls here are very much in need of such instruction.
Meredith, Josephine B.
The 1941 Microcosm catalogues Josephine B. Meredith as the Dean of Women, the only female dean at Dickinson College. Meredith was also one of two female professors currently teaching on campus, the other being Mary Ganoe Rehfuss, the Director of Physical Education for Women. The Microcosm notes that Meredith, an Associate Professor of English, was known on campus for her "forceful personality and executive ability" which "shaped the Dickinson collegiate world".
Shortly after college opened in the fall of '96, Dickinson women began to consider how they might obtain the training, which is best furnished by active work in a Literary Society.Â After consulting with the President, they met October 21, to formally consider the question, with sixteen present.Â After effecting a temporary organization, a committee on constitution was appointed.Â It was then suggested that the society be named in honor of Dr. Harman.Â On November 18, 1896, the constitution, together with the name was formally adopted.
On October 3, 1919 The Dickinsonian published an article comparing the histories of Dickinson's three literary societies, one of them being the Harman Literary Society, which was created as an all female group in 1896. The organization was open to all interested women, and at the time, was highly praised by the Dean of Women, Mrs. Meredith.Â
In her report "Women at Dickinson College," Dean Meredith has a section titled "Women's Scholarship." In this section she discussed the ways in which women are strong students at Dickinson. However, it is difficult for female students. She explained that, "Co-education as we have it here is hardly fair to girls. There are not enough women teachers nor is there enough competition among the girls because girls are too few. Girls here are not â€œstudentsâ€ they are â€œCo-eds,â€ curiosities. A girl in a high school is just a student.
In her essay "Women at Dickinson College", Dean Meredith discussed dating, dances, and chaperonage at Dickinson College. She explained, "The college is sometimes criticized because boys and girls are together socially so much. Other criticism is not just but it is somewhat merited. About 8 couples can be so conspicuous that they give the college an unenviable reputation." Meredith argued that it is easier to control the relationships if the woman lived in Metzger, however, it was much more difficult to control commuters.
In this section of her essay, Dean Meredith examined the conditions for study at Dickinson College. She had two main concerns about the conditions in the 1930s. First, Meredith is concerend with women dating. She explained thatÂ commuters tend to come into town early and leave late now that they all have cars. This allows them to socialize and date unsupervised. Likewise, Meredith is concerned about Metzger Hall women dating as well. She explained, "Metzger girls spend their afternoon and other spare time about as day students do.
In her report "Women at Dickinson College," Dean Josaphine B. Meredith discusses women's health in a section entitled "Health." She explained that there had not been a single serious illness in years as she is sure to send any sick women home or to the doctor as soon as she saw symptoms. Moreover, Dean Meredith advocated for a Women's Hygiene Program at Dickinson College. She wrote that "The girls need a course in Hygiene to supplement their physical training. The PhysicalÂ Tr. teacher has plenty of time for it.