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  Marriage Course

Lemo Rockwood and "The Marriage Course"

In another incident, Lila MacLeod, President of the Women's Self Government Association (WGSA), wrote to Dean Allen on February 22, 1949, protesting Professor Rockwood's address to the Freshman Women's Camp. She felt that the lecture on social adjustments and dating in college life would have been more appropriate for seniors than freshmen. Rockwood spoke about the need for privacy in the development of courtship relations, suggesting that the women's dormitories failed to provide appropriately private conditions. MacLeod reported that a member of the House of Representatives who was taking Rockwood's marriage course came up to her and "delivered a sharp criticism," demanding that she establish a system allowing girls to get parental permission to sign out to men's rooms for the evening. MacLeod asserted, "I do not feel that a university or WSGA can sponsor any absolute, or even 'more absolute' conditions of privacy."

Such conservative reactions nonetheless paled in comparison to growing student demand for expanded courses in the area of marriage and relationships. In a seven-page memo to Dean Vincent and Mr. Dalton dated 2-4-48, Professor Rockwood reported on the overwhelming student interest in her marriage course and outlined her plan for improving and expanding the course, incorporating student suggestions. In later years, as feminist notions evolved, the marriage course was no longer seen as a symbol of progressive ideals, but rather as a contributor to the stereotype of Home Economics students being principally interested in the "M.R.S." degree.

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