Sex and the Single Girl Part Two

Transcript is as originally printed and published, intact, without correction of grammar, spelling, typos, etc.

Bernard Sanders 1963. Chicago Maroon, student newspaper GadFly

The purpose of this paper is to challenge the right of the Administration of the University of Chicago to forbid, by threat of disciplinary action, the students in the College to engage in sexual relations — this demand for sexual abstention being, of course, the motivating factor behind the four year residence and hours regulations impose on the women, and the two-year regulations imposed on the men. Under these regulations no woman is allowed to live in an off-campus apartment. Then, having been forced to live within the dormitory system, she is subjected to various rules concerning the time which she may spend outside her room. These regulations, plus various subsidiary rules such as not allowing men into women” rooms, and vice and vice versa, have he total effect of prohibiting sex in the college; that is, if the rules are obeyed.

The administrators of the University do not believe that students should engage in pre-marital sexual relations. The housing system which they have created, and the regulations which they have imposed make this fact so obvious that we needn’t go into this question at any length. It is perhaps enough to mention that when fires drills are held in women’s dormitories at six-o’clock in the morning in order to check attendance. and that when “room checkers” are assigned the task of eliminating the privacy of the couples, we can assume that the University is attempting to prevent sexual intimacy.

The administrators of this university have the right to BELIEVE that unmarried students should not engage in sexual intercourse, or in any kind of sexual relationship for that matter. They have the right to BELIEVE that for unmarried people sex is dirty, sinful, criminal and unhealthy. They have the right to BELIEVE all of these things, and as parent they have the right, and perhaps the obligation, to tell their children how they feels about sex.

However, it is inconceivable and intolerable that these men should have the right to forcibly impose their moral, religious, social, and sexual beliefs on the 2000 students of the College. Disregarding for the moment the stupidity of their particular approach to sex, that of forced virginity, it must be  stated in the strongest possible terms that no group of men should be given the power to believe that they can “regulate” one of the most important aspects of human life: the right to develop deep and meaningful relationships with other human beings.

Not only must the administrators not be allowed to forbid students who desire sexual intercourse from being able to have it, but they must also not be allowed to prevent a man and a woman from spending a night in conversation, or from simply studying together, alone. Who is to measure the value that a group of people, or two people, can receive as a result of a night’s conversation. How are the administrators so knowledgeable that they can say that one long and intimate conversation, which might extend beyond one o’clock in the morning, is not worth more to people who participated in it than a year of academic education? What do the administrators know about life? Are they serious in believing that anything important can come out of four years at a university if students do not have the freedom to talk together at two o’clock in the morning?

The latest restatement of the University’s policy of forced sexual abstention can be seen in the recent announcement of Assistant Dean of Students, James Newman, where he discussed the question of “women’s hours.” The immediate purpose of the statement was to inform various dormitory councils, student government, and the student body in general, that the Administration had refused the student request to ease up on the hours system regulation which govern student life in the dormitories. The deeper meaning in the statement was the reiteration of the Administration’s belief that it has the right to dictate, upon punishment of disciplinary action, a particular code of social and sexual behavior to its students.

Mr. Newman, in his statement, says that the Administration will retain “the current hours rules (which) allow women living in University residences (which will soon be all women) to use at their discretion, a certain number of hours after midnight each week, with a limit of 3 am on any night. Such a system is REASONABLE (bold face mine) and we see no reason to abolish it. To do so would mean wither a rigid curfew for all or an admission that a University address did not necessarily mean that a woman “lived” there, but only that she came in occasionally to pick up her mail.”

I would agree with Mr. Newman and his fellow administrators that it is an intolerable situation for a woman to have a University address if she uses it only to pick up her mail. But it is intolerable, not because she refuses to stay in the dormitory, but because she has been forced to live there in the first place. It is obvious that she should have the freedom to live where she pleases.

What do Mr. Newman” and his cohorts mean by a reasonable system?” On what scientific and intellectual basis (the only basis acceptable in a so-called “institution of higher learning”) is a system “reasonable” if it prevents people who would like to spend the night together from doing so? Is this system “reasonable” for people who do not accept the code of virginity before marriage, or is it only “reasonable” for some administrators who refuse to accept the fact that love and sex exist, and that here is nothing shameful, sinful, or “unreasonable” about it. Is it a “reasonable” system for two people who might simply want to spend some hours, alone, talking together; or is it “reasonable” for some administrators who are so afraid of sex, that they must prevent ANY sort of meaningful relationship from developing between students of the opposite sex.

The administrators are attempting to force the student body to accept their dogmatic beliefs on perhaps the most sacred and important aspects of life….Through their various regulations they have drawn up a code of social and sexual  “rights and wrongs” which they feel are “reasonable,” and are forcing their students, on pain of disciplinary action, to conform to them.

An analysis of these regulations leads us to believe that at the present time the University Administration considers the sexual activities “reasonable.”

(2) Petting, so long as all clothing remains on. (The fact that “room checkers” are not assigned to watch EVERYTHING that a couple does, but are only supposed to report cases in which clothing has been removed, seems to imply that the Administration will tolerate limited petting.)

(2) Making out or Necking. (In this case the Administration has no alternative. It is very difficult to stop people from kissing.  Also, I suppose that they are not really against it so long as they can prevent it from going “too far.” In the cold weather they can do just that. By not giving any privacy to couples, they can keep the activity in the open. As a result, we see couples performing in dormitory lounges, hallways etc.)

In respect to sexual intercourse, the University, of course, does not consider this “reasonable” for students. However, at the present moment, the University is caught in an uncomfortable position. As much as they would like to enforce their policy of sexual abstention, they are unable to completely do so as long as student apartments (and the apartments of friends) exist. All that the University can do in respect to sexual intercourse, therefore, is to limit the times when it can take place. At the present moment, the University can do no better than forbid sexual relations from occuring after midnight on six nights a week, and after 3 o’clock am once a week.

It is of vital importance to understand that the College is currently undergoing a radical transition in social and sexual habits. In a few years, when all the students in the College will be forced to live in dormitories, and when student apartments will be eliminated, students in the College are going to be in a desperate way in order to find privacy to do ANYTHING. If the situation is bad now, it will be infinitely worse then. Although the doing away with all student apartments will have a marked effect on the sexual life of the College, it will also have a most serious on those students who want nothing more than to be able to talk in privacy within the confines of a room, or perhaps to attend an occasional closed party.

The very important relationship between the University’s sexual code and its social code is not difficult to see. The simple, but sad, fact is that because the administrators  do not believe that any students should engage in pre-marital intercourse, everybody, including those students who have no intention whatsoever of engaging in pre-marital intercourse must suffer. The fact that women are shuffled off into their rooms at the compulsory bed time in order to prevent them from having a sexual relationship, regardless of whether or not they want one.

The question must now be asked: What is the intellectual basis on which the social and sexual codes of the University lie?”…

Have they gone to the psychology department in order to get a scientific opinion? Have they gone to the psychiatrists at Billings to see whether or not sex is “reasonable.” or what the effects of forced chastity might have on people of student age? Have they consulted these authorities about the problems which guilt feelings can cause for young people who have been made to feel guilty, and abnormal because of their sexual needs? In short, if the Administration’s decision in favor of forced chastity, and the right to punish violators of it, based on scientific and rational opinion (the only kind of opinion which students should accept), or is it simply based on a combination of the Bible and Ann Landers?

In my opinion, the administrators of this university are as qualified to legislate on sex as they are to mend broken bones. One can best use an old saying to describe their actions; that their ignorance of the matter is only matched by their presumptuousness. If they dislike sex, or if they think that it is “dirty.” or “evil” or “sinful” that is their misfortune. It is incredible, however, that they should be allowed to pass their attitudes, or neuroses, on to the student body.

it is a well-known fact that a large part of the student body does not agree with, or ACCEPT, the social and sexual codes of the University . Despite all their various rules and regulations the Administration is not, nor will it ever be, successful in its attempt to ban sex from College.

No matter how hard the University tries, it just can not legislate it away. Love, and the need and right of students to do what THEY consider current wil (missing text) ever; university regulations not withstanding.

However, it must be admitted that if the University does not accomplish its main purpose, it does accomplish its secondary purpose. If it canot legislate away natural and human needs, it can convert them into “sinful,” “criminal” and “dirty” activity. If people can not be prevented from expressing themselves honestly, as THEY see fit, then they can at least be made into sneaks and criminals and made to absorb all the mental punishment which goes with “criminal activity.” If the beauty and joy which love and sex is composed of can not be totally eliminated, then it can be severely maimed by the need to “catch sex” when the University isn’t looking. If people can not have the privacy to do what they think is good, and right, they will do it without privacy. They wil do it in motels, in cars, on the Midway, or behind the Chancellor’s house, but they will do it.

In short, if the Administration can not do away with sex as they would like to do, they can take pleasure in adding to the tragic harm which comes from the archaic, barbaric, and oppressive “code of morality” of the society at large; that code which shouts out so loudly that there is no such thing as sexual need. Our University, following its long tradition of leadership in society, feels compelled to shout loudest.

How did the College of the University of Chicago evolve into the state in which it is now? Ignoring all the other changes which have taken place in the College over the past ten years, how did a free college, where students were allowed the freedom to live where they pleased and to determine their own social life. gradually evolve itself into a high class house of detention? How did a great college become transformed into a place where men and women are not allowed to talk to each other after one o’clock in the morning?

The answer to this question is not a single one, but we can say that at the core of it lies the simple fact that the faculty, he men who are responsible for the fact that students come to the University, have grossly abrogated their responsibility. The administrators do not intentionally mean to be harmful. It is just that they don’t know any better. But by now, because the faculty has remained quiet for so long, the situation is beyond their control. How a psychology teacher, or a doctor in Billings, or any rational member of the faculty could have allowed the administrators to seriously develop a policy of forced chastity, with all the harm which it implies, is beyond comprehension. If they could take a forthright and honest position on sex, they should have at least prevented this. But they have not. Bernard Sanders

Transcript is as originally printed and published, intact, without correction of grammar, spelling, typos, etc

Bernard Sanders 1963. Chicago Maroon, student newspaper GadFly

The purpose of this paper is to challenge the right of the Administration of the University of Chicago to forbid, by threat of disciplinary action, the students in the College to engage in sexual relations — this demand for sexual abstention being, of course, the motivating factor behind the four year residence and hours regulations impose on the women, and the two-year regulations imposed on the men. Under these regulations no woman is allowed to live in an off-campus apartment. Then, having been forced to live within the dormitory system, she is subjected to various rules concerning the time which she may spend outside her room. These regulations, plus various subsidiary rules such as not allowing men into women” rooms, and vice and vice versa, have he total effect of prohibiting sex in the college; that is, if the rules are obeyed.

The administrators of the University do not believe that students should engage in pre-marital sexual relations. The housing system which they have created, and the regulations which they have imposed make this fact so obvious that we needn’t go into this question at any length. It is perhaps enough to mention that when fires drills are held in women’s dormitories at six-o’clock in the morning in order to check attendance. and that when “room checkers” are assigned the task of eliminating the privacy of the couples, we can assume that the University is attempting to prevent sexual intimacy.

The administrators of this university have the right to BELIEVE that unmarried students should not engage in sexual intercourse, or in any kind of sexual relationship for that matter. They have the right to BELIEVE that for unmarried people sex is dirty, sinful, criminal and unhealthy. They have the right to BELIEVE all of these things, and as parent they have the right, and perhaps the obligation, to tell their children how they feels about sex.

However, it is inconceivable and intolerable that these men should have the right to forcibly impose their moral, religious, social, and sexual beliefs on the 2000 students of the College. Disregarding for the moment the stupidity of their particular approach to sex, that of forced virginity, it must be  stated in the strongest possible terms that no group of men should be given the power to believe that they can “regulate” one of the most important aspects of human life: the right to develop deep and meaningful relationships with other human beings.

Not only must the administrators not be allowed to forbid students who desire sexual intercourse from being able to have it, but they must also not be allowed to prevent a man and a woman from spending a night in conversation, or from simply studying together, alone. Who is to measure the value that a group of people, or two people, can receive as a result of a night’s conversation. How are the administrators so knowledgeable that they can say that one long and intimate conversation, which might extend beyond one o’clock in the morning, is not worth more to people who participated in it than a year of academic education? What do the administrators know about life? Are they serious in believing that anything important can come out of four years at a university if students do not have the freedom to talk together at two o’clock in the morning?

The latest restatement of the University’s policy of forced sexual abstention can be seen in the recent announcement of Assistant Dean of Students, James Newman, where he discussed the question of “women’s hours.” The immediate purpose of the statement was to inform various dormitory councils, student government, and the student body in general, that the Administration had refused the student request to ease up on the hours system regulation which govern student life in the dormitories. The deeper meaning in the statement was the reiteration of the Administration’s belief that it has the right to dictate, upon punishment of disciplinary action, a particular code of social and sexual behavior to its students.

Mr. Newman, in his statement, says that the Administration will retain “the current hours rules (which) allow women living in University residences (which will soon be all women) to use at their discretion, a certain number of hours after midnight each week, with a limit of 3 am on any night. Such a system is REASONABLE (bold face mine) and we see no reason to abolish it. To do so would mean wither a rigid curfew for all or an admission that a University address did not necessarily mean that a woman “lived” there, but only that she came in occasionally to pick up her mail.”

I would agree with Mr. Newman and his fellow administrators that it is an intolerable situation for a woman to have a University address if she uses it only to pick up her mail. But it is intolerable, not because she refuses to stay in the dormitory, but because she has been forced to live there in the first place. It is obvious that she should have the freedom to live where she pleases.

What do Mr. Newman” and his cohorts mean by a reasonable system?” On what scientific and intellectual basis (the only basis acceptable in a so-called “institution of higher learning”) is a system “reasonable” if it prevents people who would like to spend the night together from doing so? Is this system “reasonable” for people who do not accept the code of virginity before marriage, or is it only “reasonable” for some administrators who refuse to accept the fact that love and sex exist, and that here is nothing shameful, sinful, or “unreasonable” about it. Is it a “reasonable” system for two people who might simply want to spend some hours, alone, talking together; or is it “reasonable” for some administrators who are so afraid of sex, that they must prevent ANY sort of meaningful relationship from developing between students of the opposite sex.

The administrators are attempting to force the student body to accept their dogmatic beliefs on perhaps the most sacred and important aspects of life….Through their various regulations they have drawn up a code of social and sexual  “rights and wrongs” which they feel are “reasonable,” and are forcing their students, on pain of disciplinary action, to conform to them.

An analysis of these regulations leads us to believe that at the present time the University Administration considers the sexual activities “reasonable.”

(2) Petting, so long as all clothing remains on. (The fact that “room checkers” are not assigned to watch EVERYTHING that a couple does, but are only supposed to report cases in which clothing has been removed, seems to imply that the Administration will tolerate limited petting.)

(2) Making out or Necking. (In this case the Administration has no alternative. It is very difficult to stop people from kissing.  Also, I suppose that they are not really against it so long as they can prevent it from going “too far.” In the cold weather they can do just that. By not giving any privacy to couples, they can keep the activity in the open. As a result, we see couples performing in dormitory lounges, hallways etc.)

In respect to sexual intercourse, the University, of course, does not consider this “reasonable” for students. However, at the present moment, the University is caught in an uncomfortable position. As much as they would like to enforce their policy of sexual abstention, they are unable to completely do so as long as student apartments (and the apartments of friends) exist. All that the University can do in respect to sexual intercourse, therefore, is to limit the times when it can take place. At the present moment, the University can do no better than forbid sexual relations from occuring after midnight on six nights a week, and after 3 o’clock am once a week.

It is of vital importance to understand that the College is currently undergoing a radical transition in social and sexual habits. In a few years, when all the students in the College will be forced to live in dormitories, and when student apartments will be eliminated, students in the College are going to be in a desperate way in order to find privacy to do ANYTHING. If the situation is bad now, it will be infinitely worse then. Although the doing away with all student apartments will have a marked effect on the sexual life of the College, it will also have a most serious on those students who want nothing more than to be able to talk in privacy within the confines of a room, or perhaps to attend an occasional closed party.

The very important relationship between the University’s sexual code and its social code is not difficult to see. The simple, but sad, fact is that because the administrators  do not believe that any students should engage in pre-marital intercourse, everybody, including those students who have no intention whatsoever of engaging in pre-marital intercourse must suffer. The fact that women are shuffled off into their rooms at the compulsory bed time in order to prevent them from having a sexual relationship, regardless of whether or not they want one.

The question must now be asked: What is the intellectual basis on which the social and sexual codes of the University lie?”…

Have they gone to the psychology department in order to get a scientific opinion? Have they gone to the psychiatrists at Billings to see whether or not sex is “reasonable.” or what the effects of forced chastity might have on people of student age? Have they consulted these authorities about the problems which guilt feelings can cause for young people who have been made to feel guilty, and abnormal because of their sexual needs? In short, if the Administration’s decision in favor of forced chastity, and the right to punish violators of it, based on scientific and rational opinion (the only kind of opinion which students should accept), or is it simply based on a combination of the Bible and Ann Landers?

In my opinion, the administrators of this university are as qualified to legislate on sex as they are to mend broken bones. One can best use an old saying to describe their actions; that their ignorance of the matter is only matched by their presumptuousness. If they dislike sex, or if they think that it is “dirty.” or “evil” or “sinful” that is their misfortune. It is incredible, however, that they should be allowed to pass their attitudes, or neuroses, on to the student body.

it is a well-known fact that a large part of the student body does not agree with, or ACCEPT, the social and sexual codes of the University . Despite all their various rules and regulations the Administration is not, nor will it ever be, successful in its attempt to ban sex from College.

No matter how hard the University tries, it just can not legislate it away. Love, and the need and right of students to do what THEY consider current wil (missing text) ever; university regulations not withstanding.

However, it must be admitted that if the University does not accomplish its main purpose, it does accomplish its secondary purpose. If it canot legislate away natural and human needs, it can convert them into “sinful,” “criminal” and “dirty” activity. If people can not be prevented from expressing themselves honestly, as THEY see fit, then they can at least be made into sneaks and criminals and made to absorb all the mental punishment which goes with “criminal activity.” If the beauty and joy which love and sex is composed of can not be totally eliminated, then it can be severely maimed by the need to “catch sex” when the University isn’t looking. If people can not have the privacy to do what they think is good, and right, they will do it without privacy. They wil do it in motels, in cars, on the Midway, or behind the Chancellor’s house, but they will do it.

In short, if the Administration can not do away with sex as they would like to do, they can take pleasure in adding to the tragic harm which comes from the archaic, barbaric, and oppressive “code of morality” of the society at large; that code which shouts out so loudly that there is no such thing as sexual need. Our University, following its long tradition of leadership in society, feels compelled to shout loudest.

How did the College of the University of Chicago evolve into the state in which it is now? Ignoring all the other changes which have taken place in the College over the past ten years, how did a free college, where students were allowed the freedom to live where they pleased and to determine their own social life. gradually evolve itself into a high class house of detention? How did a great college become transformed into a place where men and women are not allowed to talk to each other after one o’clock in the morning?

The answer to this question is not a single one, but we can say that at the core of it lies the simple fact that the faculty, he men who are responsible for the fact that students come to the University, have grossly abrogated their responsibility. The administrators do not intentionally mean to be harmful. It is just that they don’t know any better. But by now, because the faculty has remained quiet for so long, the situation is beyond their control. How a psychology teacher, or a doctor in Billings, or any rational member of the faculty could have allowed the administrators to seriously develop a policy of forced chastity, with all the harm which it implies, is beyond comprehension. If they could take a forthright and honest position on sex, they should have at least prevented this. But they have not.

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