October 26, 2005

More Rules to Live By

I thought listing some of the "sillier" rules regarding living in dormitories might be fun. We have already listed some of these rules on our Dorm Life exhibit, but I thought it would be worth mentioning a few more.

Searching through the 1950s Case Institute of Technology rules and regulations for dormitories, these might give you a chuckle:

Laundry and Lavatories:

A laundry room equipped with coinamoatic washing machines and dryer, as well as with ironing boards and irons, is provided in the basement of each dormitory. The washbowls in the lavatories may not be used for laundry. The laundry room and the lavatories must be left clean after use.

Maid Service:

Maid service is maintained according to a schedule determined by the Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds. In general, maids change bed linens and thoroughly clean the rooms once a week. In addition, they visit each room daily to empty the wastebasket and ashtrays and to do such minor cleaning as time will allow.


The housing of dogs, cats, birds, snakes and all other sorts of pets is prohibited, with one exception: goldfish are tolerated, but not encouraged. Case reserves the right to evict them, also.


Games of catch, touch football and the like are not allowed in front of either dormitory. Such activities pose a great hazard to windows, passing autos, stray pedestrians and lawns. Use another open space or an empty parking lot for your activity. You might work off your excess energy at the gymnasium.

Window Sills:

Articles should not be placed on the window sills, nor should lighted cigarettes or any refuse be thrown from the window.

Tom Steman
University Archives

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October 20, 2005

A subject dear to the hearts of many college students


This image appears on the Rules to Live By page of the scrapbook. It is from the 1979 yearbook, accompanied by the title "Hard Liquor in Dorms Denounced" and quotations from administrators stating that they did not realize hard liquor could be found in the dorms.

I know there are people out there whose best dorm life stories may involve the consumption of just the slightest amount of an alcoholic beverage. Or 2. Well, we're not here to get anybody in trouble, so if you have such a story, please don't hold back! As you can see from the Rules to Live By page, it's no secret that dormitory rules occasionally get broken.

Heather Henderson
University Archives

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October 14, 2005

Lessons in Laundry

One day in 1970, one of my suite mates was headed to the laundry room in the basement of Michelson House, and asked if I had anything I would like washed, as he had just a few items. I gave him all my white jockey briefs, as I was running low. An hour later he returned them in a brilliant shade of pink. It seems he had washed them with something red. He found this enormously amusing, and laughed for a full hour. I was less enthused. It took months before repeated washes faded my drawers to something closer to their original state. I learned a lesson about laundry, and also about roommates!

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The Dinner Dress Code

I arrived on the Case campus in the fall of 1969. In the orientations materials I had received from the school, they told us that jackets and ties were required at dinner. As I did not have a jacket at that time, my older cousin took me shopping, and bought me two sport coats.

On our first day on campus, there was discussion about this in the suite before we went to dinner, but we all dressed as advised. By day two, however, many had stopped wearing the formal clothes, and within a few days it was anything goes. My guess is that the rules had stopped being enforced a year or two before, but no one revised the orientation materials: an expensive omission for those of us who didn't know any better.

I was also advised to sew my name into all my clothing. My mother had labels made up with my name on them, and dutifully sewed them onto each garment, as well as my towels. Although all the clothing is long gone, I still have some of the towels that I bought to bring to school (which I use as rags), and when I see that name tag, I think back on my first few days as a freshman.

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August 09, 2005

Dorm life between 1965 and 1972

I would love to know more about the dorm life of people who were here between 1965 and 1972 or so. In doing research for this exhibit, it seemed to me that dormitory life must have changed more during the decade between 1965 and 1975 than it did for several decades before and after. I'm thinking in terms of standards of dress at meals and formality of meals, as well as things like how laundry got done or parietal rules. It must have been very interesting to be living on campus during a time when so many things were changing!

(We have a page in our Dormlife exhibit about dormitory rules.)

Heather Arnold Henderson
University Archives

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