Housing and In Loco Parentis

"ROOMS - Students may secure rooms in splendid homes convenient to the school at very reasonable rates. The Dean of Women and the Dean of Men inspect all rooms offered for rent to students and approve them before they may be engaged....It has seemed best to require women students not to engage rooms where men are rooming and to require men students not engage rooms where women are rooming."

"SUPERVISION OF STUDENTS - The quiet, beautiful, healthful location of the school and the excellent moral and Christian influences that surround the students are conducive to successful school work. The Dean of Women keeps in close touch with each of the women students of the school. She inspects and approves rooms that they may occupy; she visits them when they are ill; advises them when they need counsel, and protects them in all possible ways. The Dean of Men has similar supervision over the men students of the school."

Latin for in the place of the parent, in loco parentis refers to the prevailing philosophy of college administrators during the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. As exemplified by Ball State's administration, faculty oversaw not only the education of students, but also their social lives and activities. In loco parentis allowed colleges to act in the best interests of students, supervise off campus housing, and maintain close relationships with students.

Indiana State Normal School Bulletin , Vol. XIII, No. 1., July 1919  

Picnic at Ball State Teachers College, 1950s

Picnic at Ball State Teachers College, 1950s.

Early B Books included not only phone numbers and addresses, but messages from the school president and deans, a brief history of the school, traditions, and regulations for students. The student handbook, the Cardinal Code, took over many of these functions and also addressed other issues such as proper dress on campus. B-Books 

Advice for Freshmen

"College differs from high school life chiefly in its lack of restraint. Each student is his own master, and no one watches over him or forces him to do his work. Hence, entering students should see that their new environment does not operate to the injury of their scholastic work. No activity or other diversion is justifiable which prevents a student from doing full justice to his courses."

From B Handbook, 1926-1927

Dress Codes

The 1948-1949 Handbook suggested that women: "For classroom wear we find skirts and blouses predominating, plus cotton dresses in spring and fall, and wool dresses, sweaters, and suits in the winter. Loafers and bobby sox and other flats and hose are always appropriate for the classroom. Above all you will want to keep that feminine look." For men the handbook noted that: "You can wear sport shirts and slacks to classes if you want to do so, or you can put on a necktie and a coat. Whatever you wear, make it look neat. Grooming is important. The girls don't appreciate beards and uncombed hair." The 1953-1955 Handbook offered many helpful suggestions, including "Both fellows and girls will need blue jeans for picnics, sports, lounging, and studying" and "No one wears high school letters on campus."

The full pages of dress suggestions in the handbooks of the 1940s and 1950s were later reduced to a few sentences, then left out of the handbook altogether. Eventually handbooks focused primarily on special events, organizations, and services available to students.

Women's Housing and Coed Hours

"Regardless of where you stay while you are at Ball State, at least one thing is always true. There are certain hours for you to observe. Ball State follows a policy of imposing as few regulations as is possible, but there is a general pattern you must follow. Generally you must be in by 10:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday evenings, you have until 12:00 p.m. Some special social events (they'll be posted) are accorded 1:00 p.m. hours, and four extra-special events (Homecoming Dance, Blue Key Sweetheart Ball, Junior Prom, and Military Ball) carry what we call "special late leave". For the latter events, you decide what time you wish to return, and sign out for that time. This is not a "no hours" occasion, but a system whereby you can set your own hours for the particular night involved."

Cardinal Code, 1957-1958

"housing....university regulations provide that all single undergraduate students must live in university residence halls, approved private homes, fraternity houses or with their parents...seniors may obtain permission to live in housing of their choice...freshmen are assigned to halls, but upperclassmen may select preference."

Cardinal Code, 1970-1971

Ball State University Women's Dormitory, 1970s

Ball State University Women's Dormitory, 1970s.