Facilitating Coeducation



All colleges and universities had a limited amount of space available to students for study and other activities, and they were also limited in the amount of funds needed to expand in any of these areas. The larger the enrollment, the more potential problems with discipline might arise, and the more concern there was about the ability of faculty and staff to supervise the interactions of students on campus. The physical proximity of men and women on campus was not limited to seating in classrooms. If the administration really wanted to keep them apart, they could make sure that the buildings they used were far apart on the campus grounds. As seen in the drawing of the campus of the University of Wisconsin in 1873 above, the women’s residence (seen in the lower left-hand corner) was not located near the three existing campus buildings when it was constructed.1 The climb made necessary by the hill would not have been desirable for the delicate nature of the female students (particularly in winter), making it easier to justify holding separate women’s courses within the residence.2


Female Student Male Student Housing Provision Reading Room Woman Student 
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© Christine D. Myers 2010

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