The responses to last week’s blog taught me that, contrary to my assumption, the rules were just as restrictive at the men’s colleges. Here are my friends’ experiences, in their own words:
From Tom, who went to Fordham:
These aren't laughable; they are simply the social and behavioral norms of that era. God, we sure had class then. And when I say "We" I really mean "we." The Catholic men's school I went to had rules at the time that were much like these in many respects --- except we didn't have to wear a hat and gloves to board the train (LOL)!
We did have to wear a coat and tie on campus on all class days. If you showed up at class without a coat and tie you were recorded absent! Seniors wore a "short" (about thigh length) academic robe to class, believe it or not.
BTW, we did NOT have the privilege of unlimited lights. We had a definite lights-out time!
I notice your dress rules do NOT say anything about hemline length. Very interesting omission.
One interesting thing we had rules on was alcohol. Since we were located in a state with age 18 drinking at the time, some controls were necessary. Yes, you were allowed to have alcohol on campus and expected to handle it responsibly.
From Kate, who went to St. E’s with me:
I don't remember having worn a hat when leaving the campus. I too got a weekend in prison there. I was chatting with Rosemary Rush and didn't realize that the lights had gone out. When I left her room, the halls were in darkness and I ran into that (expletive deleted) Sister ________. That did it.
From Abigail, another classmate:
What’s interesting here, referring to Tom’s comment about alcohol, is that in New Jersey, we could drink at age 21. Our rule book reminded us of the law but did not further restrict drinking. So, presumably, at 21 Abigail was old enough to order a Singapore sling at Rod’s Ranch House but not to watch television after 8PM!
From Mike, who went to St. Bonaventure:
Assigned study hours, chow hall discipline, lights out, signing in and out for the library, etc., like St. E's, were all there. At Bona's, being then an all male campus, they were not as big on dress codes, they were very BIG on 6th and 9th commandment violations!! I ended up being put on simple disciplinary probation for having a picture of the Purdue University "Golden Girl", from Sports Illustrated magazine no less (head band majorette with a gold lame one piece bathing suit), posted on the outside of my closet door (I should have been smarter and put it on the inside!). The prefect on the floor (every floor had a live-in Franciscan monk) came in for late bed check and saw it and woke me up and told me to take it down because it was "scurrilous literature.” When I said, "It's what"? He replied, "Look it up." When I did so I saw it meant, "Given to the use of vulgar or low abusive language". There was no language, only the picture. But since they say a picture is worth a 1000 words, I knew I wasn't going to get too far arguing the point.
In any event, I had to meet with the Dean of Discipline (which is another whole story) and was campused for a month. What I didn't know was that a letter had been sent to my parents informing them I'd been placed on simple disciplinary probation (this little tidbit was NOT mentioned in the "Rules"!). The letter opened with the sentence, "This is to inform you that your son has been placed on simple disciplinary probation and that, without corrective action, his tenure at this institution is in jeopardy". I found out about the letter when my father called ME, the first and only time he did so. My frail attempt to point out that it was "simple" disciplinary probation only served, as you might guess, to raise his level of ire. I felt fortunate to be 400 miles away rather than within arm’s reach!
So as Bob Hope says, "Thanks for the memories"!
From Ann Marie, a classmate at St. John’s High School:
What an evolution!