sitemap DORM LIFE - JMC IN SNY-PHI (1975)
Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer



This Webpage offers a transcription of a two-page article published in the 1975 JMC 10th Anniversary tabloid created and distributed in April 1975.

This article is a compilation of comments and reminiscences concerning dormitory life in Snyder-Phillips -- the home of Justin Morrill College.

None of the comments are attributed to a specific individual. As a result, the presentation below is simply subdivides the comments in accordance with their appearance in the article and presents them in approximate order of their appearance.

Photocopies of selected pages were sent in by Stewart Lachman, a photocopy of the entire tabloid was sent by Cleo Parker, and an original specimen was submitted by Cynthia Freeland. Thanks, Folks!

The contents of this article have been transcribed for Web presentation. Aspects of the specific layout, formatting, etc., therefore diverge from the precise appearance of the material in the tabloid.

If anyone has additional 'hard-core' data on JMC, its operations, its performance, or its outcomes, please Contact the Editor.



Justin Morrill College 10th Anniversary Tabloid / Paper
April 1975
8th page of the unpaginated tabloid




Women weren't allowed in the rooms in Snyder, and men weren't allowed in the rooms in Phillips. The dorm life itself was very strict. I had to sneak my sister up to see my room. The RA's power was never questioned. If they didn't like what you were doing, they could throw you off the floor for a couple of nights, in which case you probably slept in the lobby. The student body itself wasn't very questioning at that time here.




Everyone was just terrified of getting caught and kicked out of school. The drinking age was 21, and having liquor in your room was a serious offense.




The dress code was hysterical and didn't make any sense except to an outside world, or the university, which was concerned about an outside world. We had to wear dresses or skirts to dinner, and you could wear slacks into the cafeteria for lunch and breakfast, but you could never wear, for example, your robe to breakfast. Saturdays you could wear slacks to meals but if it was a Saturday lunch of a home football game, you had to wear a skirt. Because obviously there would be lots of outsiders in the dorm, parents visiting their kids and that sort of thing.




There were closing hours for women. Weeknights it was 10:00, and a little later on weekends. And you got late minutes if you were late.

If you got 15 late minutes then you had to go before the dorm judiciary and usually they would exact some sort of punishment to make you more aware of the time, like you'd have to spend an evening in your room and come down and check in at the desk every half hour or hour, which was supposed to make you more aware of time, and consequently more responsible.




At 11:30 there would be all these couples kissing in the foyer of Phillips or the front lawn, getting their last 11:30 kiss before you could come in. You felt very embarrassed coming from the library because all the doors were locked and you had to go through this kissing scene to get into your dorm.




'67 was a significant year as far as lifestyle and dorms were concerned. A lot of significant changes took place after that, and I think Snyder-Phillips had a lot to do with making some of those changes come more quickly.




Sometime in the middle of the winter quarter of my freshman year, they began having more open houses. That was a special time when you could have members of the opposite sex in your dorm room. Until then, there might have been an open house from 2-4 every few weeks. But then they started having them every week. And then they started saying, "What do you think about every evening till 10?" Some women were saying, "Oh, my God, I won't be able to go to the john or take a shower until after 10:00." There were men in the halls.




The students generally didn't like the regulations that prohibited students from passing back and forth between Snyder and Phillips. The doors downstairs in the Grill were locked every night -- I think at midnight. Once they started having frequent open houses, the problem was that if you had someone in your room from Phillips you had to go outside and walk around to the front door, you couldn't walk right through. In the winter it was inconvenient. It is hard to explain why people could get so riled up about that, but all that happened was that students decided to take the doors down in the Grill -- it was kind of an ad hoc committee that was formed to change the physical environment. Anyway we took down the doors. I think probably the university overreacted. They felt that they had some sort of riot on their hands. All we wented to do ws walk back and forth between the two buildings during the night, but as I was saying, with everything else going on it was a sort of feeling of "us against them" -- very political in terms of being against rules and regulations and restrictions. So there were all srots of festivities. I remember there were one or two police being there and I remember Eldon Nonnamaker who the the Dean of Students, who was trying to reason with us. About 400 people had gathered.

It seems to me that logically, it should have been done earlier. Taking down the doors wasn't as emotional as when open house hours were initiated.

I don't think there was as big a problem as they thought there was. They felt that they didn't have control -- they were afraid they might be overreacting, but they were anyway. They didn't want to bring in the police, but as it was I think they were overreacting. I think maybe the only thing that came out of it was the administration saw that there was a certain point that the students would stand up and say no -- we're not going to accept this anymore.




There were strange people here -- by strange I mean their physical appearance, that was the first thing that struck me. They used to do weird things, like hanging upside down from the bannisters, and sliding down on their noses, and weird things like that. I guess for the first time I'd seen people who would dress in complete grubs. They really liked each other a lot too -- everyone got along well. I remember some people here that were so straight that the look on their faces when some weirdo walked by was, how can I live here any longer? But they stayed for the whole time, and they seemed to go their own way. And everyone who was here, I think, expected a variety of people, and if they were shocked, or whatever, that's what they wanted, and they were bound to stick it out.




A lot of women were very upset when there were so many more open houses. They didn't want any boys to see them in their curlers or their bath robes. I knew one girl who would get up at 3 or 4 in the morning to take her shower, and go heavily bathrobed and slippered, so she wouldn't have to run into anyone.




The most uncomfortable part was at first. Once I began to feel comfortable walking down the hall in my bathrobe, nothing else particularly bothered me.




That year there was also a "food riot", because management wasn't being receptive to a lot of the demand that were being made. One of the problems was that at Saturday meals and Friday dinners they closed down one side of the cafeteria, and just opened either Snyder or Phillips. Well, you would wait in line for twenty minutes or half an hour and when you'd go in there, you couldn't find a place to sit. What happened was, people started sitting on the floor; then there wasn't any room for the trays, so they'd put the trays down on the floor. It was really all done in a very good fashion; one glass was broken, and after the point was made, the leaders and everyone involved cleaned it up. It was kind of, I guess, a show of strength.