About Scope    Editor’s Mailbox    Back Issues    Skidmore Home

Spring 2003

- - - - - - - - - -





Centennial spotlight

On campus

Faculty focus

Arts on view




Class notes


Do’s and don’ts

Young adults have always been subjected to rules about drinking, smoking, and driving—and, at times, about what to wear, whom to date, and when to be home. Skidmore’s student handbooks of yesteryear (some highlights follow) were fraught with lists of permissions required and privileges afforded, and students were expected to memorize the rules and regulations of college life (there was a test). Not surprisingly, restrictions eased greatly over time.


  • Chaperones are required for students attending parties, dining in hotels, and driving or riding with male companions.
  • Students are advised to walk or ride in groups of three or more and to avoid walking in the business section of Saratoga Springs. Should they stray into that area, they are to don hats and not wear sneakers, athletic sweaters, riding habits, or knickers (those are reserved for winter sports).
  • Dormitory rooms are to be tidied up for 10 a.m. inspection. A twice-yearly formal inspection will result in a grade based on “order and neatness, artistic merit and appropriateness of furnishings.”
  • Men are not allowed in the dormitories, except by permission of a faculty member.


  • Dormitories close at 10 p.m., but students past first semester can stay out until midnight on Saturdays, provided they register details of where they’ll be and with whom.
  • Drinking is discouraged, but, “since 3.2% beer has become legal, students may be guided by their own tastes and their families’ wishes.”
  • Smoking is allowed in dormitory living rooms after dinner, until 7:45 (10 p.m. if you have a male caller).
  • Seniors with at least a B average can have a car on campus, with permission from the dean. If they will be driving for longer than a half hour, they must register.
  • Male visitors are not allowed in students’ rooms unless accompanied by a member of the resident faculty. “They are expected to remain only a short time.”
  • Students are advised not to wear pajamas, shorts, overalls, or “sailor pants” on the street or on campus. Furthermore, “sunbathing is not permissible anywhere on campus.”
  • Students must pay annual electricity fees: $1 for a plug-in clock, $7.50 for a radio, and $3 for an appliance.

Drinks and smokes at Worden’s, 1940s (photo from Ellen Turner Odegaard ’49)

  • Wearing shorts downtown is forbidden, as is sporting “dungarees” at dinner.
  • Off-campus smoking is permissible in private homes, cars, hotels, restaurants, tea rooms, ice cream parlors and beauty parlors, “with courteous consideration for the comfort of other patrons.”
  • Student are allowed to sun themselves only on the deck of the gymnasium and should take “proper precaution to avoid sunburn.”
  • Students must bring no cats, dogs, or other pets into the dormitories.
  • Making and receiving telephone calls after 10 p.m. or before 7 a.m. is not allowed.
  • “Hitch hiking is strictly prohibited,” and students may not walk in Congress Park after dark.

Reading, writing, rooming, 1950s

  • “The ‘social week-end’ may not begin earlier than 6 a.m. on Friday nor extend beyond 11:30 p.m. on Sunday.”
  • Smoking is permitted at a variety of locations, including “Scott fireplace” and in “beau parlors.” Seniors can smoke in their rooms and may invite underclassmen to do the same. “Cigarette lighters may be filled only in bathrooms.”
  • Beer can be served as a picnic beverage, but participants should ensure that “such an occasion cannot possibly give an unfavorable impression of Skidmore standards.”
  • Seniors and juniors may have a car on campus, but “parents shall vouch for their daughter’s skill as a driver.”
  • One hair drier is allowed in each dormitory.
  • “Slacks, blue jeans, hair curlers, and bandanas are inexcusable” dinner attire.
  • Bowling is allowed in groups of at least three (fewer, if accompanied by a senior); four after 6:30 p.m.
  • Students are forbidden to walk on Congress Street.

Double dating on the new campus, 1966

  • Parental permission is required for students wishing to travel by chartered bus, taxi, or airplane.
  • Students are advised never to smoke in bed, but they may “sit on made-up beds to smoke if there are several girls in the room at the same time.”
  • Housecoats and pajamas are not allowed in dining rooms. Skirts should be worn to dinner except on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. “Bare feet are inappropriate in public.”
  • Rooms are to be “neat and orderly” always. “This specifically means beds are to be made before noon. Clothing is to be hung neatly in closets, wastebaskets emptied daily, and linen changed regularly.”

Enjoying the company of a prohibited pooch, 1970

  • “The College…regards the use or possession of narcotics, stimulants, or hallucinogens without current prescription of a medical doctor…as unacceptable conduct which can make the student subject to dismissal.”
  • The drinking age is eighteen. “Alcoholic beverages may be consumed on campus in…designated areas provided no unpleasant, destructive, or tragic consequences result….”
  • All students except freshmen can register a car on campus for a $15 annual fee.
  • Residence halls are closed from 11:30 p.m. until 6 a.m., and “no student may open a door after the closing hour to let in another student,
    a male escort, or a visiting guest.”
  • “No guest may stay more than three consecutive nights (we cannot afford permanent boarders). Guests must be a contemporary age.”
  • Confidential sign-out is available, to be opened only in an emergency.


  • The drinking age is nineteen. “Kegs shall not be placed in bathrooms at any time.…No more than two kegs may be tapped at one time at any single gathering.”
  • Any student can have a car on campus, free of charge.
  • Waterbeds are permitted in student rooms (with a $100 damage deposit), as long as the head resident is informed.
  • Students may have visitors at any time, but they must be registered
    in a sign-in book.


  • The drinking age is twenty-one. “Residence halls may not sponsor B.Y.O.B. parties.”
  • Smoking is outlawed almost everywhere but in residence halls and outdoors. “Smokers should be tolerant of nonsmokers in accordance with a desire to have a smoke-free environment.”
  • Seeing-eye dogs and “non-deadly” fish are allowed in residence halls. “No eels, reptiles, or mammals will be allowed.”
  • Incense, firecrackers, gasoline, candles, firearms, and slingshots are not permitted in residence halls; nor are motorcycles.


  • “Smoking is prohibited in residence halls, except for Scribner Village apartments when all occupants agree about smoking.”
  • Cooking food and using electrical appliances (including George Foreman grills) are prohibited in student rooms. Also banned are halogen lamps, ceiling fans, and window air-conditioners.
  • Students are required to recycle paper, glass, plastic and metal containers, and corrugated cardboard, and to conserve energy by “turning off lights, computer monitors, and printers when not in use…”
  • Riding bicycles, skateboarding, and rollerskating “are prohibited in college buildings.”
  • Reckless driving—which includes driving around speed bumps—is a violation of college rules.



© 2003 Skidmore College