Kristina LaMothe, Kristen Turner, Anna Williams, Kelsey Hensler started giggling the second they came into the room. It wasn’t hard to figure out that this was going to be a fun project. This daring group of students went through old books on student rules and became very interested in the rules that were assigned to students about relationships and dating. Their presentation brought both curious stares and ecstatic giggles throughout the room.
In the first few years of the 1900’s, women’s lives were obviously still very much controlled by their parents. Chaperones were required for any and every activity, including leaving campus with your friends. Students even had to pay for these “privileges”. The slide for this particular timeline read, “They did it old style.” In the 1910’s, a few changes occurred brought about by the growing wide-spread prevalence of the automobile and the social changes following World War I. Juniors and Seniors were finally able to receive gentleman callers and entertain them in the parlor of Main. In the 1920’s, students were still required to be inside by 6:20 pm and their date was required to leave by 9:25 pm. In the 1930’s, “guest” rules were separated from “date” rules. Then, time limits came into place and dictated when students could see each other and for how long. Not many changes were made in the 1940’s. Students were finally allowed to dance with men on campus but chaperones were always on the watch.
In the 1950’s, time limits changed again so that students had much more freedom. They were also able to bring their dates more places…on campus. In the 1960’s, the idea of double-dating was emphasized. Students had to make sure they were with another student on all their dates, signing in and out together. Forgetting to do this had serious consequences. The 1970’s brought about major changes. Alcohol was brought onto campus for the first time and then open dorm hours came into place when men were allowed into women’s personal dorms during specific limited times. In the 1980’s, men were allowed into the rooms more often, but definitely not overnight. In the 1990’s, serious changes were made. Visitors were finally allowed to stay overnight. There was also a lot of liberalization during this time, and lesbian couples on campus became more prevalent. This brings us to the 2000’s. First years were allowed guests on the weekends while upperclassman could still have overnight guests. Overnight guests were limited by squatter laws that allowed guests to stay in a student’s dorm room for three nights over a two-week consecutive period.
Social expectations have seriously changed over the course of the last hundred or so years. In conclusion, I am very glad to live in the 21st century. In fact, I’m going out to hold a boy’s hand right now. Take that Agnes Scott of the 1900’s!