From freshman dinks to womens streaksand beyond. Some glimpses
of campus life over the decades, as seen by the Gazettes
the conning tower of the good ship Pennsylvania, the more prominent
aspects of campus activity are readily discernible in the drab waters
of minor routine. For the most part, the first touches of spring
weather, somewhat sporadically intermingled with snow and wind,
are cutting disastrously into scholastic morale, and bidding fair
to continue the demoralization as time goes on. The zephyrs of spring
have at least brought the baseball and lacrosse players out in force,
and given promise of calling the other outdoor sports into renewed
activity. One by one the Freshmen are disposing of the wool toques
which took the place of the black caps through the winter, and are
now entered upon the final lap of the traditional race against the
Sophomores. The all-important holiday in the academic calendar of
the yearling class is that moment of release from all restrictions,
Heyday in short.G.
Gordon Mahy Jr. C24, March 13, 1924
ladlers of Punch Bowl labeled their February product the Charleston
number, just to prove that they had caught up with the times. Fifty
pages are crowded with features, jokes, and illustrations relating
to the newest terpsichorean effort. A series of tabloid sketches
entitled, The Charleston in History, shows how Solomons 756th
wife, Nero, Marie Antoinette, and John Alden interpreted the step.
Vigilance Committee has started an active campaign against violators
of freshman regulations. The first-year men have enjoyed a period
of laxity during rushing season, but the vigilantes plan to inflict
drastic punishments on all violators from now on.Robert
A. Eichelberger 26, March 12, 1926
week of December 7 marked two interesting innovations in the
form of student experimentation in national and international affairs.
The first of these was the group of two model nominating conventions
held in Houston Hall in an attempt to forecast the stands to be
taken by the two major political parties in their conventions next
proceeded to place themselves squarely in favor of prohibition repeal,
reduction of the tariff, increased taxes on higher income groups,
and entrance into the League of Nations. Frankin D. Roosevelt received
the nomination on the second ballot. The convention was closed on
the note that the Convention favor the replacement of the Republican
Party, which has so poorly managed the economic crisis, by the Democratic
Party, which has already proved itself worthy of managing national
S. Snyder, January 1, 1932
G. Nye C37, end on the football team, is a well-known falconer.
He was recently seen descending from a Walnut Street trolley with
his falcon on his wrist, and later in the College office, where
his hawk aroused great interest. We wonder whether such a bit of
medievalism could be seen on any other American college campus.E.
Craig Sweeten C37, January 1, 1937
new school year in every sense of the word is in full swing.
Not since our dink days had undergraduate life meant serious
business as it does today.
with Pennsylvanias educators and administrators, the students realize
full well that we are not here to dream, to drift.
appears that the real graduation day, climax of the school year,
will fall, uniquely, in February. Having attended the summer term,
60 percent of the seniors will bid us adieu at that time.
Commencement ceremonies and traditional everything has taken a back
seat and the new way of life is one of swift and conscientious preparation
for service in a fast approaching battleground, with little regard
for easy enjoyment of the good old college days that come but
once in a lifetime.Hugh
Gyllenhaal 44, November 1942
the most pervasive question in the undergrads mind was whether
or not the fellow who sat next to him in History was a liberal (one
of those guys), a Republican (his old man must be president of U.S.
Steel), a Democrat (his uncle is a ward heeler), or a Communist
(a man whod gone completely crazy). Such a curiosity for a fellow
students politics seems natural enough, for these are curious days,
these days of name-calling and labeling and categorizing by remote
association. It is a slippery thing, and makes for some tricky moments,
this business of attempting to judge a mans opinions and then placing
him in certain stallsas they do with particular breeds of dogs
at dog shows. This one is a Russian Wolfhound, this one is a Dachshund,
this one is a Pekinese (always reclining on a purple cushion) and
this onethis one is a mongrel who has no breeding.
student is a liberal or independent thinker he is not necessarily
a Communist, and it is most certainly both naÔve and careless to
think of such liberal students as black-cloaked conspirators who
carry under their arms bombs and in their pockets instructions from
a foreign capital and make no allowance for the fact that the liberal
student may be just another chap in a varsity sweatercarrying nothing
more than a few ideas in his head and a sincerity of purpose in
Sandler C49, December 1948
are changing all over. Women are now allowed to use the main
cafeteria in Houston Hall, and the Franklin Society, composed of
the leaders of all the publications, admitted a girl this month.
The Wharton School fell by the wayside this year too, and about
the only all-male groups are the Houston Hall Student Board, the
Daily Pennsylvanian, and the Mask and Wig Club. Members of
these groups have so far been very vocal in their approval of the
status quo, but the progress of coedization (as it is barbarously
called) is formidable. Or at least thats what the girls say.Martin
Griffin C55, December 1954
probably read the Associated Press reports last month saying
that there had been a Rowbottom on Skimmer Day, April 23. Twas
no such thing. It was a riot.
had started early in the afternoon down at the banks of the Schuylkill,
where about 7000 people watched the Pennsylvania crew outrace Princeton
and Columbia. Each fraternity manned a booth where free beer was
to be had, and the shore was lined with undergraduates in straw
hats and Bermuda shorts, some wearing loudly striped blazers and
the race, thousands of students converged on the campus.
at Phi Sigma Delta started performing on the corner of 39th and
Spruce. There can be no doubt that the band was loud, and that the
students were far from quiet in their celebrations.
time police had arrivedaround 3 a.m.the band had stopped playing,
and the audience had begun to disperse. But as eight shiny red paddywagons
and fifteen cars charged through that mass of straw-hatted humanity,
the interest of the approximately 700 students in staying on the
corner, which had definitely begun to flag, perked joyously up again.
swiftly became targets for bottles and other missiles, especially,
they seemed to feel, from the Deke house. Several of them rushed
into the fraternity, dashed up to the second and third floors, and
broke down every door in both hallways, hauling some students out
of bed to be shoved into the waiting paddywagons.Martin
Griffin C55, June 1955
concept of education at todays university is different from
that of the past. No longer does the student go to class to imbibe
knowledge, memorize wisdom, and master a profession. The university
today is a center for the expansion of knowledge. The student today
is prepared to participate in this expansion.
this new concept of education imply that each scholar knows best
how his society or community is to be run? Should the student, as
he has at Berkeley, assume that administrations are, by their very
nature, wrong, while students are right?
have concluded from the Berkeley [Free Speech Movement] that such
a movement is needed at Penn. Great differences, however, exist
between Penn and Berkeley on many levels.
wish to demonstrate to get a voice in University affairs. But the
student at Pennsylvania has few complaints.
of the system of student representation on important committees
is not being limited, but is expanding as time goes on. Faculty-student
and administrative-student relations must improve; it is fashionable
to complain about them, but it is commendable to take it upon oneself
to improve them.Julie
Dalton CW66 and Irwin Arieff C68, May 1965
any other neighborhood, the Dirty Drug would be one of those
sad old penny-candy stores that only has customers at three-thirty
in the afternoon when the nearby elementary school lets out. Its
painted aquamarine, and mud-brown, with yellow and turquoise corrugated
crepe paper strung erratically about. Plastic flowers are pinned
up next to the most incongruous of travel posters, obtained no doubt
in the early 1950s. Other relics of a time gone by lie on the counters,
never bought, but never taken away: the plastic sunglasses, the
picture postcards of Philadelphia, the straw pipes, and gaudy key
daily Drug frequenters overlook all these curiosities on their way
to the Tastykakes, the cigarettes, and the yogurt cartons. What
they remember of the Drug is the constant motion, the vibrating
soul music, the bells ringing from the pinball machines, and, of
course, the sound of the cash register.
food at the counter is an exercise in survival of the fittest, since
being polite with the noon-day crowd means youll get waited on
at about four. But if you can never be sure of quick service, you
can count on the never-wavering grumpiness of the girls behind the
counter, who will either bark at you to speak up, or yell back that
they heard you the first time, for Chrissake, when you repeat the
the only place that could get away with serving awful food at outrageously
high prices in the grimiest of atmospheres and still win the affection
of every student who drops in.Phyllis
Kaniss CW72, May 1971
6, 1978My mind is fogged from lack of sleep. My body is weak from
lack of food, sustained for the last four days by eight doughnuts,
12 cans of soda, several pieces of stale white bread, and one popsicle.
My eyes are bleary. But what I have witnessed!
seen the students of the 70s, pronounced the comatose successors
of the 60s radicals, occupy College Hall and secure 31 important
concessions from the University administration.
listened to the apathetic undergraduates of an inferior university
and heard a voice that must be heeded.
been part of the rebirth of student activism. And I have been part
of the most intensive surge of energy to hit this campus in years.
Students found themselves moderating debates, leafleting campus,
orchestrating press conferences, and, even more surprising, participating.
believe Im doing this. Were doing this. Its 4:30 in the
morning. Im in College Hall. My mother is going to think Im a
Communist. Im part of a demonstration. Incredible! said one.Drusie
Menaker C78, April 1978
Louise could make your hair stand on end with just one glance.
She was stronger than any boy in the sixth grade at Saint Pius X.
She told us that she said 100 rosaries every day for our lost souls.
Like everyone else, I was scared to death of her. Sister Louise
definitely would not approve of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe,
I thought to myself as I viewed an exhibit of his work last semester.
She might appreciate his pictures of flowers, but I do not think
she would like the ones of men in certainshall we say compromising?positions.
What if Sister Louise had been standing beside me in the gallery?
I can hear her raspy voice: Kristine Marie, you are sure to perish!
Hide your eyes!
experience of the exhibit made realize how much my world has changed
since I left Catholic school and came to Penn. Here I was, looking
at photographs of handcuffed, leather-bound menme, the girl who
spent 12 years in parochial schools and played Mary in the seventh-grade
Christmas pageant. In 17 years, I had never met a non-Christian
person. All of my friends and relatives were strict Catholics.
love Mapplethorpes work, just like I dont love everything
about Penn. But because I came here, my naìve and narrow
perspective on the world has changed drastically.
not solved the question of whether Mapplethorpes work is art or
pornography, or whether it deserves government support. But at least
I have been able to think about it carefully, rather than being
denied access to it. Kristine
M. Conner C89, October 1989
to several participants, the notion of a womens streak originated
in the minds of members of FLASH (Facilitating Learning About Sexual
Health) who had been sitting around chatting about the annual run,
in which female participation had been limited to a lone, courageous
woman in the spring of 1992.
Racer, a Wharton senior, says she ran just for kicks, a sentiment
echoed by other runners: There was no deep one-upmanship. It had
nothing to do with gender issues. It was more like ëWow, I could
run naked in the Quad. Thatd be a kick, why not? The guys do it
every year; theres gotta be something to it; they can do stupid
things, so can we. Another streaker, a College senior, agrees that
the streak was not a militant feminist movement. It was extremely
social and friendly. It was not sexual or promiscuousit was hilarious.
describes the unexpected ideological forces she felt coursing through
her veins as soon as the run was complete: It felt great to
be able to take off my clothes and do anything I want. Society has
such restrictions about women baring their bodies, and we should
be proud of every single bulge. I was saying, ëI love my body, and
I will bare it to the world.Matthew
Selman C93, February 1993