Friday, April 12, 2013

Sesquicentennial Stories: The Promise of UK #99

The Woman’s Self Government Association of the University of Kentucky was founded in 1918 to enact and enforce regulations to promote the welfare and further the best living conditions of the women of the University of Kentucky.  Article II of their constitution stated that all women of the University of Kentucky, residing in the halls of residence, fraternity houses and boarding houses were members of the Association until they proved themselves incapable of self-government. The Association addressed rules and guidelines for lights out; absences from halls of residences; callers; entertainment; walking and automobiling; picnicking, lunching, and calling; scheduling of social functions, dancing, dress, quarantine, seniors, and the honor system.

Among the many house and social rules of the Association were:

  • The cooking of meats and vegetables in the room is prohibited.  Food must be kept in tin or glass receptacles.
  • No telephone calls will be delivered except from 12:30-1 and from 6-7 p.m.  Notice of call at other hours will be posted on the bulletin board.
  • Dancing in the recreation hall is permitted among the women on week days until 7:30 p.m.; on Friday until 10:45 p.m., and with guest on Saturdays until 10:45 p.m.
  • Beds to be made by noon.
Additionally, if picnicking or lunching the women students could not lunch or dine with a man at any hotel or restaurant after 6 p.m. without permission from the house director. Automobiling with men within the city limits was permitted until 8 p.m. and beyond the city limits in groups of three or more, only if the majority of passengers were women until 6:30 p.m. On such trips no stops were to be made at places of public resort.

The early 20th century was a very different time for women on the University of Kentucky campus.  The full set of guidelines can be found in the Woman’s Self Government Association booklet in the University of Kentucky Special Collections.

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