Social life during this era gave women the opportunity to become more involved in residence life and the Acadia community. Although social life differed in some respects,it was quite similar to our current day student culture, centred around parties,academics and sporting events.
The following excerpt from Blomidon Rose depicts the social atmosphere of Acadia during the era:
"In late September, when we returned to the college, the building was only partly ready, and most of us were stowed in make –shift quarters for six weeks. All autumn, and most of the winter- it was a "banana belt" winter, with much rain and much thawing- and through early spring, we slithered through the mud. The planks laid down for walks slithered, too, and progress to and from University Hall was punctuated by shrieks. Many an escort, who tried to keep his girl upon the planks, lost a rubber by his gallantry. When the snow had finally disappeared, the mud around Tully was seen to be strewn with men’s rubbers."
Excerpt from Blomidon Rose
The following excerpts are from Esther Goes to College and depict the life of an average female student at Acadia between 1914-1916:
-"Saturday afternoon Lalia took Hettie, Charlotte, Paige & me for a ride in the car. It was a perfect afternoon. We went over to Starr's Point, round to Sheffield's Mills & up to Kentville. Lalia says Will expects to leave in about two weeks. He is going with the 4th. University Company, also. Doug Borden left yesterday to be in the 85th. The senior class has 18 girls & 9 boys. Won't we look nice at Graduation? There won't be all those boys here by that time either, I guess. Another one of our boys has gone, too, Murray Millett. He was up this week for a day, "To settle his estate," he said. Ken Wilson was here the other day also, on his way to Cliff's wedding."
-"Had supper at little tables in the living room. Grapefruit, beans, ham, brown bread, buns, pumpkin patties, celery, cake & gingerbread. Then we sat around the fire & talked till we had to go to the junior party at Mildred Brown's. Norm Rogers escorted four of us & took our slipper bags. We had great fun."
-"The party was great! First we had to unravel our fates. They were written on pieces of paper tied to the end of a string, which was most wonderfully & fearfully twisted & tangled. Mine was rather mournful. I was to marry soon after graduation, it being leap year. My married life would be miserable & I would die an early death. Next we played kingdoms. Then the boys dressed clothespins & the girls wrote autobiographies by pasting pictures under headings, as Impressions of my first reception, how I spend my money, Aspirations, Glimpse into the future."
-"Lalia has invited me down over next Sunday. One of the girls went out one Sunday without saying where she was going or anything except she was going, so Dr. Cutten added a crazy rule--that we have to have permission from home to go out over night."
-"Tuesday night we had a class party at Mildred Brown's. The girls were invited & told to bring a boy since there weren't enough class boys to go around. The result was a queer mixture, Engineers & all the classes except freshmen. We had a good time but still we missed the boys who are in France."
Women participated in weekly debates between their classes. During these debates, a topic was introduced and discussed, such as: "Should women be allowed equal opportunities in society?" These debates allowed women to voice their opinions on important social issues and gain valuable experience in public speaking:
-"Last night was the Senior-Sophomore debate. Resolved that women should be allowed equal opportunities & privileges in all occupations at present open to both sexes. The Sophs won on the affirmative. The debate was awfully funny. Lewis '17 said that women should work as well as men & then the men could get married sooner. Loud laughter & applause from the audience."
Excerpt from Esther Goes to College
The majority of social life for female students at Acadia was centered on parties. These events ranged from ice cream socials to pillowcase parties and masquerade dances. During these parties many games were played, such as "Fates", in which pieces of paper were tied to the end of different strings and the participants would then have to unravel the strings to find their fate.
The rules and regulations for women at Acadia became increasingly strict as the First World War progressed. Before WW1, the following regulations applied: women were expected to observe study hours, attend chapel once a day and be on time for classes. No callers were permitted on Saturday either. Phone calls from young gentleman other than brothers were forbidden without parental consent and mail both incoming and outgoing was censored by the principle of seminary. After World War One, women were also not allowed off campus without prior permission and could not leave residence after 7pm unless under supervision.
For information on female participation in Sports visit:
Women's Sports at Acadia