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Old school, new rules

March 29, 2011

By Ali Neese, Staff Writer

Rules are a part of life. We have to obey the law, follow the speed limit, respect authority and try our best to get along with those around us.

Going to a small, Methodist-affiliated private college, Young Harris College’s rules are even more a part of students’ lives than they might be at a bigger school.  While some may think that YHC’s s rules are strict now, they are nothing like they used to be.

For instance, many of us see our meal times as a chance to catch up with friends and socialize, but according to the school’s rules in 1890 catalog, there was to be “prompt attendance and quiet behavior at meals.”

So, instead of trickling in to eat whenever they pleased, YHC students had to report to meals at a designated time and remain quiet as they ate. Other rules from the 1890 catalog state that students had to have their rooms “orderly” before leaving them in the morning and they had to ask permission to leave the campus.

Little luxuries that we all take for granted, such as they cleanliness of our rooms and the ability to make a quick run to Blairsville or Hiawassee were not possible for these students.

The rules listed in the YHC catalog from the 1922-1923 school year was just as strict as the rules listed in 1890. One of the general rules from the 1922-23 catalog stated that all students had to return to their rooms immediately after the study bell rang at 6 p.m. and stay there for the rest of the night.

The student handbook from the 1956-1957 school year listed a schedule that female students had to follow, including a 7:15 a.m. rising bell, an 8:30 a.m. room inspection and an 11:00 p.m. lights out. Later on the same handbook states that students “are always in [their] dormitory by 7:45 p.m. on school nights.”

The current visitation rules at YHC that prohibit members of the opposite sex from being in each other’s rooms after midnight during the weekdays and one on the weekends might seem strange to students at other schools and overly strict to us, but these rules have come a long way from the way they used to be.

When YHC was first founded, guys and girls could not even speak to each other unless given special permission. Decades later when they could talk freely, they still were not allowed to visit in each other’s rooms. The Guide to Student Life from 1973-1974 said that students could, however, visit in the lobbies of the residence halls between the hours of noon and 10:00 p.m.

Regardless of whether one feels that the current YHC rules are too strict or not, we can all be thankful that they have not remained as harsh as they once were.
This post copyedited on April 18, 2011.

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Categories: Campus Life, Headline News
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