The way we were: In 1966, nursing students fight to keep girls’ dorms dry
The GUNS girls would not approve…
Editor’s Note: In this week’s cover story, Molly Redden reported on Georgetown’s sordid, besotted past. In her research, she found some interesting insights into Georgetown’s gender relations in the mid-1960s.
This week’s cover story identifies 1966 as the start of two decades of outright debauchery at Georgetown, that being the year that the University first allowed alcohol in boys’ dorms. But not everyone was immediately ready to give in to lady liquor.
On November 3, The Hoya published “The GUNS Girl—Balancing Binge and Brain to Combat Conformity,” a recap of a symposium it had held where eight female GU Nursing School students indicated that they were anything but fine with extending the drinking-tolerant policy to girls’ dorms.
Some of the choicest quotes from the article include, “I’d hate to think of every girl sitting around, boozing it up,” and, “If you sit in and get binged every Friday well then you’re not right … in the head.”
“One girl,” the Hoya author wrote, “thought that drunk boys were at least funny, while the same cannot be said for drunk girls.”
Perhaps befitting of their Catholic education, the reason for their objection to more lenient drinking rules seems to be that they feared it would encourage “looseness” among Georgetown’s women. Girls at public schools, one student noted with concern, often got into the habit of making out with their male suitors on first dates. Worse yet, liquor-induced slips could ruin their chances for matrimony.
“A boy’ll go out and have his fun and everything, but when it comes time to getting married, he wants his wife to be a virgin,” one girl explained.
And, the girls assured The Hoya, scandal could never be kept a secret. Male students living in Copley apparently kept a latter-day Burn Book—”a list of girl’s [sic] names stating whether they’re easy or not, and their qualities and such.”
Given that Georgetown’s sexual culture was about to undergo the same kind of enormous about-face as its drinking culture, the opinions the GUNS students expressed are shocking. Only nine years later, the Domesday Booke would declare, “coed dorms and free intervisitation have made the logistics of campus considerably less complex, and have brought it out of the hotel and back seat and into the dormitory and townhouse. No doubt it has democratized sex as well, since the poor Georgetown students probably had some trouble affording car or motel.”
But for the time being, the prevailing logic seems to have been, as one girl put it, “The girls who stumble out of the dorms are the ones who going to stumble back in.”