“On the advisability and feasibility of women at Yale”

What they said then

The problem of introducing women into a men's college need not be as laborious as the Yale Administration seems to believe. . . . Yale faces the likelihood of being the last Ivy school, excepting Dartmouth, to include women as undergraduates.—“So Where Are the Women?” (editorial), Yale Daily News, September 23, 1968

Like many absolute human needs, coeducation has been classified as a “reform.” . . . Psychosexual repression (horniness) is not a possible issue for reform. The all-male university should never have happened, and should be integrated immediately.—“Women Now, Talk Later,” by Mark Zanger ’71, Yale Daily News, October 4, 1968

Yale will not fully take its place as one of the few great universities in the country until we admit women on the undergraduate as well as the graduate level to our community.—“Duties of the Faculty,” by Adam Parry, chair of the classics department, Yale Daily News, October 21, 1968

Mr. Brewster claims that Yale cannot afford to reduce the number of leaders it offers the country every year. Call it “male chauvinism” or what you will, but he is pointing to a genuine problem. It is reasonable to assume that Yale women just will not assume the same roles in society that Yale men have and will, and there is no reason why they should.—“A Question of Forms” (editorial), Yale Daily News, November 12, 1968

Yale College still has no women. It has waited long enough.—“A Question of Forms” (editorial), Yale Daily News, November 12, 1968

Late in the afternoon of November 14, the faculty of Yale College met in an upstairs room of Connecticut Hall and voted overwhelmingly to admit women beginning next fall. . . .
“What we must keep in mind,” says Chauncey, “is that we are bringing women to Yale not because it will be good for men but because we feel women have a right to a Yale education. We cannot invite them here and then treat them as second-class citizens, but when you stop to think about it, the whole Yale experience is geared toward men.” For women to be fully integrated into the mainstream of Yale life will require adjustments in nearly every social organization on the campus. Secret and senior societies, for example, will feel pressure to admit women.—“The University Dips a Toe into Coeducation,” Yale Alumni Magazine, December 1968

The chairman of the newly formed Planning Committee on Coeducation is a housewife, mother of two, skating and skiing enthusiast, sometime interior decorator, chemist, teacher, and former assistant dean of the Graduate School.
Elga Wasserman is also a lady with a quick, disarming smile and some sharp ideas on the probable needs of Yale women. . . . Says Mrs. Wasserman: “Women are in a minority here to begin with, but what is worse, their minority status is underscored by Yale's tendency to segregate them from the mainstream of community life. . . . Yale men are going to have to accept women as classmates and colleagues rather than just as dates.”—“Elga Wasserman to Head Planning for Coeducation,” Yale Alumni Magazine, December 1968

Let those who desire a different environment go to any of those institutions of learning which are coeducational—there are plenty of them—and let us keep Yale very much the same kind of place that it has been for over 200 years. There is only one Yale.—letter to the editor, George E. Peirce Jr. ’22, Yale Alumni Magazine, December 1968

As Yale surrenders her identity, it seems appropriate to me that she should also change her name. Let all graduates through June 1969 be correctly identified in their proud tradition of Yale men. Let the new melange develop an identity and tradition -- perhaps better ones -- of its own. In brief, do what you will but don't call it Yale.—letter to the editor, Arthur S. Lord ’26, ’31LLB, Yale Alumni Magazine, February 1969

Donna: In discussion groups and seminars where I was the only girl, it was very difficult. I either had to keep absolutely silent or assert myself all the time because otherwise I would be attacked on every point.
Judy: I was in a psych course with about 40 people, of whom three were girls, and I was constantly aware of the fact. I'd get comments on my papers such as, “Not bad for a woman.”
Martha: I am in the history of art department, which is small. The teachers are excellent, the classes are small, . . . and I am really happy. I was in a seminar for juniors in the major that had four girls, and there was no question of “Let's hear from a girl from Wellesley.”—comments from Donna Patterson ’71, ’81JD, Judith Berkan ’71, and Martha Landesberg ’71 in “Coeds on Coeducation: A Discussion,” Yale Alumni Magazine, April 1970

One upperclassman . . . said, “Goddamn, there are all these girls walking around who won't let me sleep with them.” That was the most blatant example of this that I've encountered. Part of the push for coeducation last year was sincere, but at some level there was also the idea of getting sleeping partners.—Patricia Mintz ’73, quoted in “Coeds on Coeducation: A Discussion,” Yale Alumni Magazine, April 1970

I love the Yale . . . that is a group of dynamic and almost electric people, who in and among the buildings of Yale College create the experiences that are so exciting, so important, and so unique to Yale. I came expecting a great deal, and I have found a great deal. . . .
What is our role to be? . . . Many girls adamantly feel that they will be more than just wives and mistresses for Yale men. Yale has promised the alumni to continue producing the now-famous “1,000 male leaders a year.” Is Yale's goal in 1973 to produce those 1,000 male leaders and 250 pushy women as well? Yale has been in the past a stepping-stone for men. We shall see whether it can also be a stepping-stone for women.—Lucy L. Eddy ’73, “In the Blue: A Freshman Coed's Account of Her First Yale Year,” Yale Alumni Magazine, April 1970