"About Buckeye Co-eds": A Closer Look
The WSGA handbooks from 1962 and 1972 are helpful indicators of the shift in ideology that occurred on campus and within WSGA during the 1960s and early 1970s. For instance, the 1962 booklet features a section titled “Coed’s Closet” in which the WSGA offers wardrobe suggestions to incoming freshmen, particularly in terms of what clothing to wear for different events. For example, "Buckeye Coeds don't wear slacks or bermudas to classes or administrative offices," and "asks her date what to wear to a fraternity party." Similarly, the 1962 booklet offers advice on dating, recommending incoming students to save "heavy dating" for the weekends, but to "welcome" the opportunity for blind dates.
This type of advice is notably absent from the 1972 booklet, indicating the shift towards the feminist movement both nationally and on-campus, which would have challenged rules or expectations regarding women’s clothing or dating lives. The 1972 booklet features personal messages from WSGA members that promote feminist ideas, while the 1962 booklet is remarkably less politically charged. In the 1972 booklet, WSGA president Pat Markunas addresses societal change, noting the “increasing opposition to the restricted definition of femininity (and masculinity, for that matter) that had confined women to a passive role in the functioning of society.” With this message, Pat associated herself and the WSGA with the political convictions of the women’s liberation movement.
By 1972, WSGA had disbanded as a legislative board and instead operated as a programming organization under the name Association of Women Students (AWS). The 1972 booklet reflects this change, addressing the fact that the purpose of the WSGA was no longer to govern women’s rules, but rather to provide women students with special programming and increased representation on-campus.
Click on the images to explore the full boooklets in a PDF viewer.