Christian College, 1912
Need some ideas for a New Year’s resolution? Consider adopting some of the rules President Luella St. Clair introduced to the young women attending Christian College in 1912:

Luella St. Clair
  1. To observe daily exercise (walk or gymnasium), or to report for not doing so.
  2. To shop, or go upon Broadway or other business streets, not oftener than once a week.
  3. Not to visit cafes or restaurants without an official chaperon. Exceptions to this are found on the bulletin board.
  4. To limit purchases of candy to one pound per week.
  5. Not to buy bakery goods, tinned goods, or meat.
  6. Not to visit Postoffice [sic], Express Office, Railway Station, Telegraph Office, physicians’ or dentists’ offices without a chaperon.
  7. Not to mail any letters or packages outside the college.
  8. Not to walk with, talk with, or make an appointment with young men while out without a chaperon.
  9. Not to pay visits in town without special permission to do so.
  10. To obey all household rules, and to cooperate with the faculty members and officials in maintaining order and promoting high standards of student conduct.
  11. In case I break one of these pledges I understand that I am to report myself at once to the College President and not wait for a teacher or official to report me.

Students of Christian College in the early years
Together, these guidelines formed the “Honor Roll,” which St. Clair hoped would promote responsibility among her 243 students. Students voluntarily pledged to follow these rules; in turn they were allowed to walk and shop without supervision.

The concept of honor roll led to the creation of the Honor Roll Society – an honorary scholastic group open to the top 10 percent of the student body. In 1926, the society became a charter chapter of Phi Alpha Theta – the junior college version of Phi Beta Kappa.

Are any of these rules appropriate for today’s students? Leave your thoughts in the comments … and happy New Year!

Rules taken from Columbia College: 150 Years of Courage, Commitment, and Change by Paulina A. Batterson. Page 82.
Photo by William Charles Thompson; April 29, 1912; Library of Congress.


Amy Darnell said...

How wonderful! This was a delight to read. I do hope the ladies were able to adhere to #4.

Tracy Anastasia said...

Love it! I wonder why no bakery goods or meat in #5?

Jim Pasley said...

This is great! I'm still laughing thinking about my current students. Ladies? Your thoughts?

my3sons said...

This was written 100 years ago, supposedly a simpler time...but maybe it WAS more simple because of such high standards that intelligent focused young women held themselves shifting blame, just taking responsibility for themselves! I kind of wish things were so black and white in today's world.

Amber Barringer said...

Sometimes rules can be comforting, even if they are a little stressful at times.