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Our University Girls

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Krom Dot rolt Kvi'ry Hatimluy, 17th inst. In your issue of the lütli iustant thcre are souie remarcable statements made by Mrs. Stoue in her "ClubTalkïi" and I canoot let them pass tuidiallenged. I hardly tliiuk the writer fully understood the conclugioiu tliat couKI be drawn from the foVlowing : "As vet in our iustitutions, In our own Unlvergity even, tbere is a rcat'want unsupplied. . . Without the amenities of life, withoutcourteous, cnltivated rnanners, witliout gome conversaticmnl skill, they inight almoRt as well be without ihe buasted learning." However, I desire to cali particular attention to soine erroceous ideas presented concerning the college life of our girli. Mrs. Stone saya: "At present the situation of the girls in our own Universitr issimply pathetic. It is in a manner that of the ' lone, loru woïnan.' Mauy of them, it ia asicrted. go throngb their whole four-years' course without makingtheacquaintance of a single wuiuan outside the college girls and tho woman tliey may cliauce to board or room. Tliese four years are during the period whicli will setitsseal upon their matiners, their social acoomplishments, and in reality heart-education tor lite. . . Öntll these defects iu our colleges nnd our own University are remedied, 1 would say, 'Girls, ;o to sar or mmin s college (l womu not go to Wellesley until men may share in the work of teaching), rather tlian go where you are to live entirelv isolated trom the society, sympathy, and infliience of good and superior woraen for four years, or where you can not liare for ocoasional association and counsel some few woinen at least, not only to whose attainments you can look up with reverence, but in whose bearta jou can (Lud something of u home.' " Now what is the " loue, lorn." pathetic situation of the girls in our University? Tlie University is situated in the heart of a city of ten thousand inhabitants. Tlicre are ISOladiescngaged in Universlty work, and 117 of these are in the literary department. It would be difficult to find any one house iu the city furnishing rooms for more than six lady boarders; so tlichomes of the college girls are scatterefl over the different partsof the whole city. One result inevitably follows froru this, an acquaintíince with a number of our best families; for it so happens that many of the best families receive college girls into their houses and their homes. But there are othcr and botter opportunities for making these Ecquaintances. Tliose who have any musical talent will lind the "Choral Union" open to weieome thein. 1 am uot aware of a single existiug orgauization in this city that so tenerally includcs thewealth and arfctocracy is tliis Choral Union; and jet an atleudance at any recital will show that a large number of our 'lonc, lorn " girls take an aot ive part. But there are otlier opportuuilies If our girl does not posses? musical ability, she may be interested in church work. The churchos of this city have again and again giren public receptions to áll members ot tlie Students' Christian Association. I have seen scores of our college girls mingling frecly with the ladies of the church at these receptions, forming new and lasting friendships. Then, too, there are the regular church socials, at any one of whieh Mrs. Stone could be introduced to many happy and contentad university girls. The churches of Ann Arbor, wbloh include many noble and gvre-K-MWATsyMicirtts n'xzirrrsinm Iiorrte to the girls. nut there aro ntiieroppoi-tumiii-e. Entert.iinments are given exclusively for the college giiis. I recall one at this moment, where I spenta delightful afternoon, only a few weeks ago. The entertainment was given by one of our rppresentative women, who has as elegant ahorne as can be found in tb e city. The lady is in no way connected v.ith the University. She has no children attending, neither is her husband in any possible way connected with or especially interested in the University. Only one reason can be given why the 117 ladies of the literary department were invited there, and that is the very thing ofwhiehMrs. Stowe so deplores the absence, - to give our college girls "the society, syuipathy, and influence of good and supeiiorwomen, whom they can have for oc:asional association and counsel." But there are other opportunities. There are local societies, not connected with school work, for the study of literature, art, Germán, etc. At their meetings mingle college and city girls, and " good and superior women with social accomplishments." But there are otber opportunities. The "Senate reception" of each commencement week brings together the whole college aml citj, to say iiothiiig of visitiii"; friends. Thus, if it be true, as Mrs. Stone States, that " many go tbrough their whole fouryears' conree without making the acquaintance of a single woman outside the college girls and the woman where tliey maj' chance to board orroom," then these same girls must have committed social suicide. In view of these opportiinities, and ehould we accept Mrs. Stone's statements where does the blame rest? Does it rest on the University, or on our " superior women." or on tbe college girl? I believe the girl herself is to blame. If the ejenhil, warin-heaited element, llie "heart education " of a girl's nature has not been cultivated in herown home, and is lelt to receive lts first cducaticm after she has arrived in tliis city, at eighteen or tweiity yearsof age, then lier situation is truly "pathetic.1' She would be " in a marnier that of a lone, lom woinun." She would doubtless pass through college "without meetiug a single wornan," and she would have to remata through life a singular single woman still. If It be true, as Mrs. Stono asserts, tbat " these ibur years eet the seal npon the ncanners and social accomplishments, ' then slie hastoattend but a single "classday recept ioii " to convinoe her that for these qualities "our owu üniversity has n great want" supplied. I have not mentioned the opportunities given for tlie ladies to become acquainted with each otlier, with their classmates, and with the members of the faculty These are not regarded in airs. Stone's' charges. There might be mentioned the frequeut class socials, the elass tappers, the lectures, concerts, the reatllng-iooms' the waiting-rooms, the college llterary sncieties, and other entertaintnents, all iitted to teach "conrteous, cultivated manners and conversational skill," the amenities of life. Mrs. Stone has certuinly been mlstnformed on some of these matters; tor instead of this great wai.t being unsupplied, it is supplied in such abundance t.liat all the advocates of rigid study to-day fear lest tlie social life of the college gfrl wiü become so great that she will bc unable to maintain the high standing she has so grandly acquired. Ann Arbor, Mïeh.


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