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Special Collections

Musselman Library
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Gettysburg College Box 420
Gettysburg, PA 17325

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MS-091:  Women's Student Government

(1 box, .27 cubic feet)

Inclusive Dates: 1939-1971

Processed by: David Hadley

Summer 2007

Link to Full Finding Aid - PDF

Agency Sketch

 The Women’s Student Government Association was founded in the 1930’s to “enact and enforce rules agreed upon by the officials and students, as well as to carry on general business concerning the student body.” (From the W.S.G.A. Constitution)  The Women’s Student Government Council, the elected board for the organization, oversaw regulations concerning the living condition for female students at Gettysburg College; specifically the hours that women students had to be in their dormitory, procedures for signing in and out during the evening hours and for arranging overnights, restrictions on male visitation, procedure for selecting rooms, proper attire for certain occasions, penalties for infractions, and to serve in judgment of those accused.  In late 1968, the Women’s Student Government proposed that all coeds except first-semester freshmen be allowed to regulate their own hours. In February 1969, 269 women signed a statement that “Gettysburg College discriminates against women.” (From A Salutary Influence, pg. 1005)  The Administration’s counter-offer of giving second semester senior women the right to regulate their hours with parental permission did not appease them. Eventually, the female students would be freed from the regulations that had applied to them but not to the male student. By 1973, the Women’s Student Government Association ceased to exist.

Scope and Content Note

This collection was culled together from several disparate sources.   The Vertical File Manuscript Collection provided the early Constitution of the Women’s Student Government Association, a Record Book containing minutes from the late 1940’s to early 1950’s, and some early correspondence. The remainder of the collection consists of minutes from 1965 to 1971, with gaps in between, and documents pertaining to the activities and actions of the Women’s Student Government Council from the files of the Dean of Women. This collection would be most useful to a researcher interested in how Gettysburg College fulfilled its in loco parentis obligation to women students during the decades of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. There are a few items pertaining to the women’s interaction with campus men, but on the whole, the collection is focused on the year-to-year operation of the organization itself, not on events or factors outside of the organization.

Series Description

The Women’s Student Government Association collection is divided into six series by type of document: Series I: minutes; Series II: documents pertaining to the governing of the Association, such as the constitution and revision to rules; Series III: documents pertaining to the judiciary system of the Association; Series IV: housing documents; Series V: event announcements; Series VI: correspondence.

Link to Full Finding Aid - PDF