The Michigan League presents:
Lorene Wagar, Class of 1929: Of course in those days a girl couldn’t get into the Union. You had to go in with an escort and you had to go in the side door. You couldn’t go in the front door.
Interviewer: What did you think about that?
Lorene: Well, those were the rules. I’m not one to challenge too much (laughter).
Aileen Schulze, Class of 1950: Well, we had to sign in and out. And during the week, you couldn’t stay out past 10:30 and on the weekends it was 12:30 I believe. No, we had to act like ladies (laughter).
Interviewer: How did you feel about those rules? Did it ever occur to you that…
Aileen: No, I don’t think it ever occurred to me that the men didn’t have to be in by any certain time and the women did (laughter). I don’t know. That’s just the way life was then.
Edith Croak, Class of 1963: It was rather subtle, almost invisible. No one in my graduating class (laughter), so far as I know, aspired to be anything other than a teacher or a nurse or a secretary. It was just so different then. Of course, I knew it was a woman’s profession. My mother and two of her three sisters were nurses and I didn’t consciously say, I’m a woman and I’m going into a woman’s profession. I just always thought of myself as being a nurse. No one had suggested any differently.
Susan Johnson, Class of 1965: He thought that whatever I did I should get a degree in education because that was something that would be good for a woman. And I said, “No, I have no interest in being a teacher,” and he said, “you’re a woman, what do you think you are going to do with chemistry as your major?” And that was the first time that I stepped back to think that those things that I thought were really exciting -- nuclear physical theory, whatever -- required a PhD. Somehow that wasn’t in my construct of the time, so at the end of my freshman year, I went back to more general studies in LSA and started looking for another direction.
What would you like to change for women on campus today?
Adedolapo Adeniji, Class of 2017, International Studies Major, Detroit Entrepreneurship Network Member, Program for Intergroup Relations Program Coordinator, UROP Peer Advisor: There’s something to be done in terms of pushing women into STEM fields because I think a lot of times, either because of how they felt in high school or before that or how women start feeling in college, there’s this idea that we can’t do STEM fields. But I know a lot of women who are capable to be the best in math, to be the best in the life sciences and the health sciences, so a push towards that…
Grace Wan, Class of 2017, Political Sciences Major, United Asian Americans Organization Board Member, President of the Asian Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Ginsberg Center Student Advisory Board Member: In a lot of disciplines, I think STEM disciplines, as well as even Poli Sci for sure, it’s very male dominated. And I think in those learning environments sometimes it’s difficult as a woman to speak up when you know that a lot of your male peers are just going to be raising their hand first. It always feels uncomfortable.
Allison Kurlak, Ross School of Business Class of 2017, Ross Career Services Peer Coach: It does frustrate me when someone glazes over my opinion and doesn’t give me a little bit of credit. You can’t help but think it’s your gender when it’s a guy doing it.
Florence Rivkin, Class of 2017, Organizational Studies Major, Community Action and Social Change Minor, Organizer of Women’s March on Washington: More women in STEM; I’m not STEM but I have friends in STEM and they say that it’s really crazy that they are the only girl in a huge lecture.
Chandani Wiersba, Class of 2017, Public Policy Major, President of Yoni Ki Batt, Vice President of Women and Gender in Public Policy: Having more faculty and more staff and more people who are women. I mean not all women are the same. I think that having women of color, having queer women, having women who are not Christian, women who are immigrants. I think that understanding, that intersectionality, understanding that social identities intersect, and seeing women of color like ourselves so we can have role models…
Adedolapo Adeniji: Pushing that to the forefront - there’s a space for you here, there are people here, and maybe that starts from having more women teach those classes, so that people are okay with going to those classes ‘cause they think that they can become those women. There are some women that I look up to in the different departments, that are the heads of departments. Okay, I can be a professional like you one day, I can be a learner like you one day, because I can see them.
You might also enjoy viewing: