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  • Belfast Between The Wars

ARE QUEEN’S GIRLS UNRULY?

Northern Whig, Friday 25th April 1924


STUDENTS’ EMPHATIC REPLY TO DR. ANDERSON


BELFAST PROTEST MEETING


A mass meeting of women students of Queen’s University was held yesterday to consider the statements made by Dr. Olive Anderson at a recent meeting of the Queen’s University Women Graduates’ Association, in which she pointed out that a woman warden or dean was required in the University (1) to advise the girls when they first came up and when the left the University; (2) to visit their lodgings and see that they were being properly looked after; (3) for disciplinary purposes; (4) to guide a great many girls who came to Queen’s in these days simply for a good time, and who, for want of guidance, seemed completely to lose their heads and thus brought discredit on the university.


The meeting strongly repudiated these statements, and passed the following resolutions:


“Girls coming up to Queen’s at first are usually advised by their old schoolmistress as to the course they should pursue, and they are required to consult the Dean of their Faculty before entering on any course of study. In addition, certain of the senior women students (who are recognised by badges) are nominated at the beginning of each session, and these do all in their power to help and advise all newcomers. Upon leaving the University advice as to a future career may always be obtained from the professors concerned, or the Secretary of the University.”


“Of the 350 women undergraduates at Queen’s half at least live at home. A great many are in the women’s hostel, Riddell Hall, and the rest are in lodgings, mostly good lodgings. Lists of approved lodging are compiled by the deans in residence, and can be seen at any time in the Secretary’s office.”


“A Women Students’ Hall Committee is elected annually by the students themselves, and is representative of each Faculty. This Committee is in direct touch with the students, being itself composed of students, and any injudicious or imprudent conduct on the part of women students within the precincts of the University is brought to its notice and dealt with by it – subject to the authority of the Discipline Committee of the Academic Council. In more serious cases, the offender is reported directly to the Discipline Committee. Experience shows that this is seldom, if ever, necessary.”


“The great majority of girls coming up to the University do so with the idea of fitting themselves to become independent. The number of men students is three times that of the women, yet in the honours list of 1923, 45 per cent of the honours degrees were taken by women. The examination results show that women acquit themselves well in all other examinations."


“Women undergraduates consider it unnecessary to enter into discussion as to the unruly conduct of women students outside the University, as in the strongly expressed opinion of the meeting no unruly or disgraceful conduct of the women students had ever brought discredit on the university.”


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