PLU
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Fall 2002

Residential Life Reflections: The rules have changed, but the goal of supporting students is the same


Two women study and paint in what was known as South Hall in the 1950s. It's now called Hinderlie Hall.

All alumni who have served as a residence hall (dormitory) leader while at PLU are invited to a special reunion during Homecoming 2002. If you were a student counselor, staff member or hall government leader, join the gathering. In preparation for the reunion, here’s a look back at just a few of the ways on-campus living has changed over the years.

During the 1894-95 school year it was decided that students could not attend dances. In January a scandal erupted after a prank was carried out which was designed to lure a girl into a boy’s room where he was standing in only his underwear. This incident prompted the formulation of the first list of "rules".

  1. Boys can’t go in girls’ rooms and vice versa.
  2. No loafing in the kitchen.
  3. No loitering in the halls and stairwells.
  4. Study hours have to be spent in your room
  5. No smoking by those under 17 and no smoking or chewing in the building.


Dorm life and the décor have changed greatly since these co-eds lived on campus in the early 1900s.

In 1897-1898 all students were required to be present at the daily devotional exercises in the chapel unless excused by the President. Average expenses per student for a year were $84.50. $25 for tuition, $48 for board, $8 for room, $3 for medical fee and a $.50 library fee. Laundry, books, and paper would be extra expenses; hence, all students were encouraged to bring as many of their own books from home as they thought might be of some use.

By the 1950s the rules had expanded so as to cover nearly every aspect of a Pacific Lutheran University student. For example, this section of the Student Handbook outlined a student’s expected dress:

  1. Students are expected to be clean and neatly attired. Bare feet are allowed only in private areas of one's living quarters or at recreational functions where bare feet are appropriate.
  2. Physical education, lounging, beach attire, or the like is not allowed within the dining hall.
  3. Specific standards of dress may be required in certain areas, at individual events or in the classroom by the individual instructor or professor. (Prior to this time the dress code required women to wear dresses to class and only wear sportswear on Friday afternoon and Saturday. All students were required to dress up for Sunday dinner.)
  4. Formal attire must be worn at Artist Series and other public functions unless otherwise designated.


In the late '80s, this student modernized his room with bunk beds and stereo equipment.

In 1972, restrictions on student life loosened dramatically: two dormitories became coed, girls dormitories’ restrictive hours gave way to more freedom to come and go, and opposite-sex visitation was allowed three times a week instead of two times a year. Still, restrictions applied, for example: visitation hours are limited, the host must escort the visitor to the room, the door must remain open, and a flag is put up indicating that a visitor is on the floor.

For the first 60 years, PLC/PLU was administered chiefly by four people, the president, the dean of students, the dean of women and the dean of men. The dean of women and the dean of men positions have always been closely concerned with "student life". While the dean of men position changed frequently, Lora Kreidler served as Dean of Women from 1921-1943 and Margaret Wickstrom served from 1951-1978.

Through the early 70’s the dormitories were staffed by housemothers and student counselors. Jeremy Stringer, the first director for Residential Life, building on an


In 2000, students moved into the latest and greatest redsidence hall – the apartment suites at South Hall.

already strong on-campus housing system, brought about a number of changes that allowed for an even more student-development oriented approach to campus living. From then on, the dormitories were referred to as residence halls and continue to this day to be a “home away from home” for many PLU students.

The ’70s also brought both an increased interest and many more opportunities for students to self-govern. Dorm/Hall Councils continued to flourish in each hall, and an organization known as Residence Hall Council (RHC), now known as Residence Hall Association (RHA) was formed.

In 2000, the university welcomed yet a new era in campus living with the opening of South Hall, apartment-style units for both upper class and married students that replaced Evergreen Court and Delta Hall.

Fall 2002 Scene Copyright © 2002 Pacific Lutheran University
Credits ~ Last Updated 10-22-2002 ~ Comments