The Association of Women Students: Advocating for Women

Good news! The Indiana University Association of Women Students records have been processed! This  student group formed in 1895 as the Indiana University Women’s League. The organization’s name changed to the Association of Women Students in 1927 and remained active until sometime around 1969. This collection primarily covers the group’s activities in the 1960s, a time in which many things were changing for women in the United States.

Prominent in the collection are records relating to the work of the AWS to change women’s hours on campus in the early 1960s. These hours imposed curfews for women, limiting the time that they were allowed to spend outside of the residence halls, required women students to get permission to go out of town or to spend a night away from their respective halls, and put regulations on male visitors. Keen on ridding the campus coeds of these restrictions, AWS wrote proposals, surveyed students and their parents, surveyed other Big Ten universities, and sought approval by the appropriate entities. The following is a proposal drafted by AWS, circa 1965:

Hours ProposalThe AWS was successful in instituting a senior privilege system, whereby upperclasswomen and women students 21 and over and in good standing had unrestricted hours, and women under 21 could have unrestricted hours with parental permission.  Here are the hours regulations, circa 1967:

Hours RegulationsIn the fall of 1967, the Student Senate declared that putting hours restrictions on women but not on men was discriminatory and  in violation of the Student Bill of Rights. That resolution appears as follows:

Resolution on Hours Regulations

Much more information on the movement to change hours regulations for women can be found in the Indiana University Association of Women Students records, Collection C478, at the IU Archives. Interested? Give a call!

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