No pictures for this one, but we completed our second interview. Same questions as our first were asked and there were some similarities in answers that appeared. I feel this may be due to the fact that both interviewees were at the school around the same time.
From both of the interviews we’ve done it’s clear that the school has really changed since then. This is in terms of activities as well as the connection with its history as an all female college. An example of this was brought up in the second interview. It was mentioned that during the first two decades or so following the school’s change to co-ed there seemed to be a sort of need to step away from the woman’s school image. There was a push to celebrate the new and embrace the male demographic.
Which isn’t an issue itself. I can understand the desire to want to move forward, but it’s also important to recall one’s history, especially one that is nothing to be ashamed of. The whole thing reminded me of a video we discussed in our Making Strange Coplac class. Two members are from Montevallo University in Alabama, which was also once an all female college. The college became coed in the 1950s but there still remained a majority of women. In the 1980’s Montevallo created and released a short film which was used for recruiting purposes. I’ve included the video below:
Milner Archives and Special Collections [YouTube user], “The Montevallo Movie” YouTube video, 8:36, posted February 8, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5rHYx1CRLE.
On the surface, it’s just like any other recruiting video. It shows happy looking college students going about their daily lives. As well as classes, various departments and events. But what really stood out in the video was the relationships being flashed. In many scenes we have the girl bumping into the guy or flirting occurring. And at the end, the main character is delighted to see that there are in fact men at her school. It made it seem like the main goal for college for a woman was to fall in love with a man. It’s a silly and sexist concept that wouldn’t fly at all now.
There’s also the issue of the school sort of making the guys out as objects of desire. The school seems to keep some of it’s past image as a women’s college, acknowledging that the majority of those who apply and come to study are still women. But the video seemed to play on the idea that one of the main reasons you should come is because of the guys they have studying there.
I’m sure there were no foul intentions here and back in the 80s it probably seemed okay/funny to play up the concept. But now things are different and we see the problems of our past.