Introduction- This section will explain my study area (published student attitudes about co-education at Dickinson), why this area is relevant/important (because the student body was the group most-impacted by the decision to admit female students to Dickinson), and will lay out my thesis arguing that after an initial period of public support for co-education, by the year 1907 that support had cooled to an expression of neutrality (or even subtle opposition) to female students at Dickinson.

My main body will then be split into two sections (or potentially three, if I decide to do a separate ‘transitional phase’) focusing on the early periods of co-education at Dickinson.

Body Section One- Early Years

  • Attitudes toward co-education mostly positive
  • Public support for co-education, limited public opposition (Class of 1888 electing female officers, versus student-organized anti-coeducation organization)
  • 1891 Graduation Oration (makes the case for why co-education is necessary at Dickinson)

Body Section Two- Transitional/Later Years

  • Attitudes shift to public neutrality/subtle opposition to co-education (ex. 1894 Graduation Oration against co-education)
  • Female contributions to Dickinsonian mostly limited to Lloyd Hall events, Literary section works of fiction
  • Female events at school receive less attention than equivalent male events (YWCA vs. YMCA events, literary societies, etcetera), female events receive less-prominent placement in the paper than equivalent male event write-ups
  • Comparatively fewer displays of published support for women at Dickinson than earlier time frame

Conclusion- As co-education continued at Dickinson, attitudes about the program shifted from mostly supportive to frequent displays of neutrality or subtle opposition to permitting female students to study at Dickinson.

This week I’ve been working on my outline for class on Monday, finding what areas of my paper I need to locate additional research for, and where I seem to have enough (for now). Still have quite a bit of work left to do, but luckily there’s still time to do it.

I took some time out this weekend to go over the material I’ve gathered so far, with an eye toward evaluating my progress toward finishing my paper. So far, I’ve found that the issue of published opinions concerning co-education at Dickinson was much, much more divided than I believed it would be. My original belief was that there would be strong initial opposition to the policy, with an easing of tension as time went on. Instead, there appeared to be a see-saw battle occuring between students in favor of co-education, and those opposed to it, for at least the first ten years the policy existed.

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