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Rules of conduct have familiar refrain
-- Stay off the grass!
November 9, 1998

For nearly 12 decades, the rules of conduct for UConn students have been continuously changing. Last week, A Piece of UConn History examined some of that evolution. Here is a sampling from some of the specific campus policies and guidelines for academic and social conduct.

One common rule runs through the history of UConn's student conduct codes, from the first edition of the student handbook in the 1920s to the 1990s: Keep Off the Grass. Concrete and asphalt walkways have crisscrossed campus, but there's always a dirt path that leads directly where you want to go.

1881 - A daily record of behavior and proficiency is kept for all students. Expulsion is the punishment for gross immorality or insubordination.

1904 - Faculty are allowed to inspect dormitories during study hours.

1911 - Compulsory daily chapel attendance is abolished and replaced by compulsory attendance at a weekly non-religious assembly.

1921 - The first Student Handbook is published, listing 19 rules for freshmen. Among them: Never cut across campus lawns; wear the freshman cap (the blue and white beanie) at all times until after Easter recess; greet everyone with a cheery "hello!"; and carry a box of matches at all times during the fall semester and respond to requests for their use from upperclassmen. And no student was allowed to wear "any letters or numerals except those of the college."

1922 - Citing the freshman "mortality" - or dropout - rate, administrators move all male freshmen into a single dormitory, Storrs Hall. This freshman segregation will continue for 50 years. Also in 1922, as the student population rises to 500 for the first time in the college's history, proctors are appointed to patrol dormitories "to preserve order and quiet during study hours."

1926 - All freshmen must doff their beanies as a sign of respect when they meet faculty.

1932 - Students are barred from playing golf on the "Front Lawn," the area between Beach Hall and Route 195.

1934 - The handbook publishes a section of "Coed Frosh Rules." Included is a rule for female freshmen, forbidding male escorts or calls from males until after Thanksgiving. Also, students are urged to stay off campus lawns.

1935 - Holcomb Hall, the only women's dormitory at the time, is locked at curfew each night: Monday through Thursday at 9:45 p. m.; Friday at 10:30 p.m.; Saturday at 11:50 p. m.; and Sunday at 10:30 p.m. On the night of a major, administration-sanctioned dance, curfew may be extended to 2:30 a.m.

1944 - The Dean of Women prohibits her charges from hitchhiking, as it "reflects badly on the University and endangers students." Faculty are asked to report violators, who face suspension or expulsion.

1948 - The Women's Associated Student Government permits women to wear jeans on Saturday only, and anywhere except the library and dining halls.

1952 - Women must be in by 10:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; midnight Friday; and 1 a.m. on Saturday.

1956 - The old rule about walking on campus lawns, continued over the years in the handbook, is now printed in boldface type and capital letters, stating simply: KEEP OFF THE GRASS.

1966 - Compulsory class attendance ends for sophomores and, once a new counseling system is in place, it ends for freshmen as well. The student handbook for the first time also carries rules that ban the use and possession of alcohol on campus.

1967 - Women are allowed to wear slacks in the Student Union, which opened in 1952.

1968 - The student handbook includes a ban on possession and use of narcotics, citing hallucinogens in particular, and giving new meaning to the age-old command: Keep Off The Grass.

1972 - Segregation of freshmen in North Campus ends, based on years of complaints from students; and coed dorms start on a limited basis, on alternating floors.

1975 - Only freshmen are now required to live on campus or commute from home.

1988 - With the drinking age raised back to 21, revisions are made to the alcohol beverage policy. When adopted, the policy allows students 21 and older to drink in their residence hall rooms and at approved functions.

1989, 1992, 1995, 1997 - Barriers (low wooden fences, chain fences, etc.) are installed at various campus locations to keep vehicles off campus lawns.

Mark J. Roy