Hanover College Triangle on
Postwar Student Body
November 23, 1945
During the early to mid 1940s, World War II forced many college-age men either to fight in the war or otherwise help the war effort by means of factory labor. Therefore, male college enrollment during World War II declined dramatically. According to the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, a student noticed that starting in 1942 the campus seemed deserted . This emptiness of Oregon State's campus could be seen on college campuses throughout America.
The situation at Hanover College was not different from any other college
in America; in the early to mid 1940s, Hanover's male student population was
minuscule. In the article below, the author discusses how life at Hanover
changed when the males returned to campus. The author makes several references
to what life on campus was like before the men returned, and then compares
it to the new way of life that the students were then experiencing. Although
this era was a time of change around campus, the author suggests that it was
a welcome change among the student population at Hanover. - Joshua M. Franklin
Source: Louis Bateman, "1941-1945: World War II Years,"The History of the College of Forestry, Oregon State University, http://www.cof.orst.edu/cof/visitors/history/1941-45.php.
N.B. The text below is transcribed verbatim, including the occasional typographical error.
Now that the time has come when the enrollment has increased to a point where
the fraction of male students is no longer in such lopsided proportions, it
is time that a few observations were made concerning the situation.
In the first place, the additions are being made so rapidly that if you miss a day at class, you'll find that you don't have a seat in class anymore when you return. It must be a great comfort to professors to look down at a sea of intent students, and realize that all those betrousered legs don't belong to girls in slacks.
Then there was the chapel program -- will we ever forget it? Two rows across the front of the dining room where once there was only one, and then they stood with arms akimbo to reach from steps to steps. It is doubtful whether or not anyone listened to the singing, but that wasn't the point anyway. And surely no one was fooled by the sudden turn in the last line!
Gone are the days when girls could feel free to go downstairs at the Cabin anytime, day or night. Oh, they can go; but unless they want to look like an old 1944 model, it's best to use a bit of discretion in deciding whether or not to descend to the lower regions. Put your nickels in upstairs, girls, and swoon or eat your feet in time up there -- only don't make a dash for the back booth. Leave the dance floor to the combinations. They're with us again. And, by the way, back porch rental has gone up again.
Then the final sign of a New Era -- the swish of a formal and the scent of flowers (not telegraphed). A dance, with real dates. A chance to go to a party where you know the fellows before you get there and don't have to take a chance on matching your five-feet-five with a squatty little number from Brooklyn. And believe it or not, the girls were out an hour after closing, all very legal and everything.
The best part of the whole thing is the prospect for next semester. Indications are that the present trend will continue, only more so. When will studying be done? When will extracurricular activities be worked on? When will the girls find time for those trillions of little things that have taken so much time?
Frankly, we don't think they worry about it!
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