Document 6: RGA Rules Committee Recommendations, [1963], Elaine DeLott Baker Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.

Introduction

   Rules that governed social relations between the sexes in Radcliffe dormitories were called "parietal rules." Rules for Harvard students were more lenient than those of Radcliffe students. Women were not allowed to have men in their dormitory beyond the first floor sitting rooms. Men were allowed to "entertain" women in their dormitory rooms, but only with the door open a specific distance, and only during specific hours. There were no co-ed dorms. Although the Radcliffe library was open to Harvard students, the Harvard undergraduate library was not open to Radcliffe students. The reason given was that the presence of women would distract the men from their studies. These rules were hotly debated in both women's and men's dorms. Some women felt the rules protected their reputations, while others chafed at the notion that they needed what felt like overzealous and unnecessary supervision.

RGA RULES COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS [1963]

Social Rules:

1. Every student must sign out in the proper book if she expects to be out between the hours of 10pm and 7:30am. She must state the time by which she will return, and as specifically as possible how and where she may be reached. When she returns, the student must sign in stating the time at which she has returned.

2. If a student plans to be out overnight she must sign out in the overnight book stating as specifically as possible how and where she may be reached. (date and time of expected return).

3. Sign-outs may be changed in person by the student until the hour to which she signed out, or by telephone according to dorm regulations.

4. If a student finds that an emergency prevents her return by the hour to which she is signed out she is expected to telephone the head resident if she will be more than half an hour late. This measure by no means excuses her lateness, but in cases of unavoidable delay it is a compensatory factor.

5. Any student whose academic or social record is unsatisfactory may have her privileges curtailed by the Administrative Board or the Board of Hall Presidents.

6. Freshmen:

a) First term freshmen may sign out until 11:15 pm any night.

b) Freshmen may sign out until 1 o'clock thirty (30) times before the first exam period.

Each night of an overnight permission will count as a 1 o'clock.

c) Before Thanksgiving freshmen must ask permission to be out after 11:15 pm.

After Thanksgiving, Freshmen must ask permission to be out after 1 o'clock.

Permission should be obtained from the head resident.

If the head resident is not available the student may ask any member of the dormitory committee who is not a freshman.

d) Freshmen must ask permission to be out after 3 am or overnight from her head resident or the head resident on duty.

7. Sophomores:

a) Before Thanksgiving, sophomores must ask permission to be out after 1 o'clock.

Permission should be obtained from the head resident. If the head resident is not available the student may ask any member of the dormitory committee who is not a freshman.

b) Before Thanksgiving, sophomores must ask permission to be out after 3 am overnight from the head resident or the head resident on duty.

Penalties:

1. Infractions of the rules will be dealt with by the dorm committee.

2. Cases may be referred to Board of Hall Presidents by the dormitory committee or the dormitory president.

3. Any student may appeal a decision of the dormitory committee to the Board of Hall Presidents.

Checking Books:

1. Books will be checked officially at 1:30 am by a member of the dormitory committee or by someone designated by the dormitory committee.

2. Books will be officially checked in the morning by the first girl on bells.

As an additional safeguard, night watchman will be asked to check books and every student who returns after 1:30 am.

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