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Women's League/Women's Self-Government Association/Association of Women Students - MS 660

Introduction | Agency History | Scope and Content | Series Description | Inventory

Introduction

The records in this collection span the years 1918, the year that the Women's League was organized, to 1970, when the successor organization, the Association of Women Students, disbanded. The collection contains official minutes, officer lists, financial documents, subject files covering organizational activities and printed material from the Intercollegiate Association of Women Students.

The collection, occupying 1.5 linear feet, is an aggregate of records gathered together when the University Archives was reorganized in 1987. Ann Bowers organized, processed and prepared the preliminary inventory. This finding aid was prepared by Sara Parsons, an intern in the Center for Archival Collections in July, 1997. The collection is open to the public on an unrestricted basis.

Agency History

The Women's League was formed in September, 1918, at the suggestion of the Dean of Women, Maud Sharp. It probably was an outgrowth of the Williams Hall dormitory government board organized in 1914-1915. The object of the Women's League, as stated in the 1923 Handbook, was "...to regulate all matters pertaining to the student life of its members which do not fall under the jurisdiction of the faculty." In practice, the organization established rules of conduct, dress and hours for all women enrolled in the university. Membership was automatic for all women registered as students.

The organization's constitution and structure, college regulations, student government regulations and a demerit system were published in a Women's Handbook in 1923 and annually from 1926 through 1970. The regulations and any proposed changes were voted on by the membership after approval by the Dean. The regulations were enforced by a system of House Government that covered any residence with three or more students including off-campus rooming houses. A House Chairman and proctors were elected whose main duties were to reprimand for minor offenses, enforce rules and report serious offenses to the Executive Board or the Dean.

The organization's name was changed to the Women's Self-Government Association (W.S.G.A.) in 1939 and to the Association of Women Students (A.W.S.) after its affiliation with the Intercollegiate Association of Women Students in April, 1946. Both W.S.G.A. and A.W.S. sponsored social functions. The freshman welcome and orientation, including a Big Sis-Little Sis picnic in later years, was the oldest tradition. Other long-standing functions were Leadership Banquets, Installation ceremonies and May Sings.

A.W.S. continued through the 1950's and 1960's with an organization based on residence halls and mandatory corridor meetings growing as the university enrollment increased. In the late 1960's, students' resistance to the university rules led to the elimination of restrictions on hours for women and the decline in enforcement of dress rules. The A.W.S. organization survived until Winter 1971 when it disbanded.

Scope and Content

The records in this collection cover two separate periods in the history of the Women's League, which was later known as the Women's Self-Government Association and finally as the Association of Women Students. The minutes for the Executive Board in the years 1918 through 1946 are in bound notebooks. There is a gap in the official minutes between 1946 and 1966. The post-1966 Legislative Board minutes are loose-leaf (except for a bound April 1968 - February 1969 notebook) and may be incomplete. Many are undated. This is also true of the Rules Committee reports on proposed changes for 1963-1970.

There is little material of any type for the late 1940's or 1950's. Most of the material in the subject files is from the 1960's and covers the traditional functions of the A.W.S.: Installation of Officers, Leadership Banquet, May Sing and Freshman Orientation. A radio program script and housemother regulations are from the 1940's. Three International Parties were held in the late 1950's.

The only financial records are the Treasurer's account book and a bank book for 1924 through 1940. The printed material is from the Intercollegiate Association of Women Students in 1966, a period when college regulations were starting to be challenged. Additional material for research is available in the collection of Women's Handbooks, published in 1923 and annually from 1926 - 1970, in the University Archives.

The Women's League, Women's Self-Government Association and Association of Women Students affected the daily life of every undergraduate female student living on campus until the late 1960's. The rules that they established and enforced reflect the expectations, standards and controls placed on young women following World War I through the early 1960's.

The minutes of the early years contain the first constitution, regulations and the record of individual hearings on infractions of the rules. The late 1960's records reflect the problems the organization faced in trying to adapt to a rapidly changing college culture.

Series Description

PROCEEDINGS

WOMEN'S LEAGUE EXECUTIVE BOARD MINUTES
September, 1918 - May 1939
Arranged chronologically
The early meetings are devoted to establishing rules and regulations for the conduct of female students which are recorded in these minutes. Many of the later meetings cover individual infractions of these rules and the students' punishment.

WOMEN'S SELF-GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION MINUTES
May, 1939 - January, 1946
Arranged chronologically
General business and disciplinary hearings. Includes lists of house representatives and housemothers for dormitories. Affiliated with Intercollegiate Association of Women Students and changed name to Association of Women Students in April, 1946.

WOMEN'S SELF-GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION DISCIPLINARY BOARD MINUTES
October, 1937 - May, 1940
Arranged chronologically
Minutes of hearings on individual cases of rule infractions.

ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN STUDENTS LEGISLATIVE BOARD MINUTES
May, 1966 - May, 1969
Arranged chronologically
Loose leaf typed minutes for May, 1966 - May, 1969 and bound notebook for minutes of April, 1968 - February, 1969. Includes Residence Hall Constitution and Freshman Handbook Revision Committee recommendations and Scholarship Committee recommendations.

CONSTITUTION FOR WOMEN'S RESIDENCES HALLS AND REGULATIONS
April, 1963 - 1970 (Scattered)
Arranged chronologically
Proposed changes to constitution, regulations concerning hours and dress and campus judicial structure prepared by rules committee.

LISTS OF OFFICERS
1917 - 1954
Arranged chronologically
Starts with Williams Hall Dorm Government organization officers. Officers for 1919 - 1923 are missing. Includes house officers and standing committees for 1944 - 1946 and W.S.G.A. Red Cross War Fund Contributors List.

ANNUAL REPORTS
WSGA, 1944-1945. AWS, 1968-1970
Arranged chronologically

MISCELLANEOUS COMMITTEE REPORTS
1943 - 1945 (Scattered)
Arranged chronologically
Mixed committee and house reports.

CORRESPONDENCE

MISCELLANEOUS CORRESPONDENCE
1923, 1927, 1930, 1945
Generally letters regarding individual disciplinary action.

DISCIPLINARY CORRESPONDENCE
1940, 1942
Two letters regarding individual disciplinary action.

SUBJECT FILES

W.S.G.A. RADIO PROGRAM
May 17, 1943
Script for radio program describing organization, purpose and activities.

INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS
1942, 1962 - 1968
Arranged chronologically
Program for the 1942 installation ceremony. Planning, arrangements and evaluations of the 1962 - 1968 installation ceremonies.

LEADERSHIP DINNER
1944, 1960 - 1967
Arranged chronologically
Program for the 1944 (fourth annual) dinner. Program and speeches for 1960-1967 (19th - 27th annual) banquets.

MAY SING
1961 - 1970
Arranged chronologically
Programs, scripts for the Master of Ceremonies and evaluations for the 1961 - 1970 (18th - 27th annual) May Sing programs.

INTERNATIONAL PARTY
1956, 1957, 1959
Plans, suggestions and guest lists for mixer parties for international students held in 1956, 1957 and 1959.

A.W.S. SOCIAL CALENDAR
1956 (?), 1966-1967
Social calendar and budget for 1966-1967. List of social events for 1956(?).

FRESHMAN ORIENTATION
1964 - 1966, 1968
Scripts for the freshman orientation presentations outlining the A.W.S. organization and regulations concerning residence hall hours.

GUEST BOOKS
1958 - 1969
Guest registers for: Head Residents receptions, 1958 - 1965; International Party, 1959; Leadership Banquet, 1959(?), 1966; Recognition Dessert, 1966; Hall Directors Tea, 1967 - 1969.

HOUSEMOTHER REGULATIONS
1940 - 1942
Notes on House Mothers Meeting, November 26, 1940. Regulations for Students and Housemothers in Private Residences issued by the Office of the Dean of Women, 1940 - 1942. Includes permission forms.

FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS

TREASURER'S BOOK
1924 - 1940
Arranged chronologically
Account book and receipts.

BANK BOOK
1920 - 1940
Account at the Wood County Savings Bank.

PRINTED MATERIAL

MANUAL OF THE INTERCOLLEGIATE ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN STUDENTS
1966
Structure, resources and annual reports for national and regional officers. Constitution of IAWS.

IAWS REGION IV DIRECTORY
1966
Summaries of the 69 member schools in region IV and A.W.S. structure and activities at each school.

IAWS REGION IV CONVENTION
March, 1966
Agenda and minutes for business meetings of the convention held at Kent State University, March 21 - 23, 1966.

Inventory

Box 1

Folder

  1. Minutes. Women's League Executive Board. September, 1918 - April, 1925.
  2. Minutes. Women's League Executive Board. October, 1925 - September, 1932.
  3. Minutes. Women's League Executive Board. October, 1932 - May, 1939. (Name changed to Women's Self-Government Association in February, 1939).
  4. Minutes. Women's Self-Government Association Executive Board. May, 1939 - November, 1942.
  5. Minutes. Women's Self-Government Association Executive Board. January, 1943 - January, 1946.
  6. Minutes. Women's League Disciplinary Committee Minutes. October, 1937 - May, 1940.

Box 2

Folders

  1. Minutes. Association of Women Students Legislative Board Minutes, 1961-1965
  2. Minutes. Association of Women Students Legislative Board Minutes (loose leaf), 1966-1970
  3. Minutes, Association of Women Students Legislative Board Minutes (notebook), April 1968-February 1969
  4. AWS Regulations-Guide for Interpretation; AWS constitutions, 1964-1968
  5. AWS rules, policies, proposals, petitions, April 1964-1970 (scattered)
  6. AWS Big Sis-Little Sis Committee minutes, 1967-1969
  7. AWS Scholarship Committee minutes, 1967-1969
  8. WS questionnaires, comments, suggestions, 1960-1969 (scattered)
  9. Officers of the William Hall Govt. Dorm Board, 1917 - 1918. Women's League, 1918 - 1919 (1920 - 1923 missing); W.S.G.A, 1923 - 1948.
  10. House officers for 1944 - 1945 and 1945 - 1946. List of contributors to Red Cross War Fund.
  11. AWS Officers and committee lists, 1968-1971
  12. Description of officer and committee duties, 1963-1970 (scattered)
  13. Reports of class representatives and second vice president of AWS outlining duties, 1956-1969
  14. Annual Reports. WSGA,1944-1945; AWS, 1968-1970
  15. Committee and House Reports, 1943-1945
  16. Correspondence, 1923-1965
  17. Disciplinary Letters, 1940,1942
  18. Radio Script. W.S.G.A. radio program script, May 17, 1943.

Box 3

Folders

  1. Officer Installation. Installation ceremonies, 1962 - 1968. Program for 1942
  2. Leadership Banquet. Programs and scripts for 1960 - 1967. Program only, 1944, 1957
  3. May Sing. Programs and scripts. 1961 - 1966
  4. International Party. Plans for 1956, 1957, 1959. Guest Lists for 1957 and 1959
  5. Style Show reports and programs, 1965, 1968, 1969
  6. Social Calendar. Christmas Carol Sing, 1945. List of Social Events, 1956(?). Social calendar and budget, 1966-1970
  7. Orientation. Freshman Orientation scripts, 1964 - 1966, 1968
  8. Essays, event arrangements, invitations and programs for Senior breakfast, 1966, 1969-1970

Box 4

Folders

  1. Guest Book. Head Resident's reception, Leadership Banquet, International Party, 1958 - 1962.
  2. Guest Book. Leadership Banquet, 1963 - 1964.
  3. Guest Book. Leadership Banquet, Recognition Dessert, 1966.
  4. Guest Book. Hall Director's Tea, Leadership Banquet, 1967 - 1966.
  5. Guest Book. Hall Director's Reception, 1969.
  6. Housemother. Regulations for 1940 - 1941 and 1941 - 1942. Permission Regulations forms.
  7. Treasurer's Book. Women's League, 1924 - 1938.
  8. Bank Book. Women's League, 1920 - 1940.

Box 5

Folders

  1. News clippings about AWS, 1968-1970
  2. AWS Handbooks and brochures, 1965-1970
  3. Intercollegiate Association of Women Students correspondence, April 1969
  4. Intercollegiate Association of Women Students Manual, 1966
  5. Intercollegiate Association of Women Students Region IV Directory, 1966
  6. Intercollegiate Association of Women Students Region IV Convention, March 1966
  7. Intercollegiate Association of Women Students Magazine and Fact Sheet, 1965, 1966

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