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Archival Chronicle

August 2010: Volume 29, Number 2

Gallery: 100 Years of Student Life at BGSU | Archival Chronicle Index | CAC Homepage

Student Life in 1938: The Women's Handbook

At left, the women of Alpha Xi Delta mingle at a student reception during the 1940s

While women's social roles were changing throughout the twentieth century, "proper conduct" was still deemed particularly important for co-eds. At BGSU, the women students themselves took on the task of setting standards for conduct, appropriate dress, and curfew hours, and enforcing those standards through a discipline system. Students who broke the rules could have their privileges revoked, their freedom of movement restricted, or could be brought before the Dean of Women for more serious punishment. Reproduced below is the list of common infractions which could earn demerit points. Nearly everyone earned a few points. By the 1970s, however, this separate disciplinary system for women was abandoned. Today, all students must meet the same standards of behavior.


Demerit System
(from 1938 Women’s Handbook)

Any person receiving 5 demerit points in one semester shall be summoned before the house chairman; for 10 demerits, before the Dormitory Board; for 15, the Executive Board shall have power to withdraw privileges.

The house chairman shall appoint proctors every two weeks. In case of absence, proctors shall appoint substitutes.

Demerits shall be reported by the proctors, house chairman, dormitory board members, and Association officers residing in the Halls and by the House Mother.

Proctors are held responsible for noise and shall receive two demerits if they permit same. Proctors shall receive double demerits for failure to give demerits when deserved and 1 demerit for failure to attend to the lights.

Every two weeks reports of demerits and light cuts with dates of same shall be left with the house chairman.

InfractionDemerit Points
Study Hours
     Noise in room or corridor during study hour1
     Visiting during evening study hour1
     Failure to respect a busy sign1
Quiet Hours
     Disturbance after retiring bell1
     Disturbance before 7 a.m. on school days and
         7:45 a.m. on holidays
     Disturbance during Sunday quiet hour1
     Lights on at 1st visit of proctor1
     Lights on at 2nd visit of proctor1
     Lights on at 3rd visit of proctor2
     Use of lights before 5:30 a.m.1
     Use of bathroom lights for study1
     Failure to turn off light when leaving room1
     Failure to report light cuts to proctor1
     Bathroom and water faucets
     Use of bathroom and water faucets after last bell*1
     Use of bathroom and water faucets before rising bell**1
     Rude actions in the dining room1
     Running in the corridors1
     Shouting in parlors, corridors and rooms1
     Loitering at door when callers are leaving1
     Failure to send callers home at specified time1
     Failure to sign cards as requested in rules1
     Failure to return to house at proper time:
          For first five minutes late1
          For each five minutes thereafter2


*Last bell was at 11:00 p.m. on school days, 11:30 p.m. on Saturdays, when lights were to be turned off.

**Rising bell was at 6:45 a.m. on school days, 7:45 a.m. on holidays.