Report Of The Adviser To Women Students
To the President of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute:
The activities of the adviser to women students may be grouped under three headings: houses for women students; women students’ organizations, and activities; and the individual student. The duties in connection with the houses include supervision of the staff, of the operation of the houses, and of the functioning of the house students’ organization. The work with the woman students’ organizations is done largely through conferences with officers and committees, and in other ways as assistance is requested.
More time is given to work with and for the individual student than either of the other two groups of activities. The contact with many is made before they have finished high school. Talks to groups over the state, radio talks, correspondence, and occasionally home visits, are the means through which the pre-college contacts are made. After the student comes to college, the adviser has two class periods a week and individual conferences with all first-year women students as soon as these can be arranged. During registration she gets for her files a record from each student, whether new or old. Also, she cooperates with the college physician in making an annual physical examination of the women students, and follows up the findings of the examination with the individual student. During the class periods with the freshmen, are discussed various problems with which they are confronted. In order to meet the increasing demands for financial aid, it has been necessary to canvass the town and college for jobs whereby women may earn a part of their expenses. Also possibilities for obtaining additional loans have been investigated.
As only a part of the time of one person is given to this work, much that it is highly desirable to do for the women is not done. The records for each student are not as complete as they might be, nor are they followed up as fully as is desirable. Also, there is almost no vocational guidance given to any women except those in home economics. No assistance is given graduates in finding positions other than what may be done by the various departments of instruction. There is need for the services of a trained mental hygienist or psychiatrist to help some of the students who have not made satisfactory adjustments. This would aid greatly in reducing or solving conduct and classroom problems and failures. Also, there should be a woman physical director to supervise physical and recreational activities for all women students. There is need for a larger social room for women students, especially those who come in from the country, and for others during their vacant periods, for meetings, etc. In connection with this, there should be locker rooms. The women also need office quarters where their committees may work, keep records, etc.
In order that they may have a well-rounded life, it would be desirable to increase the opportunities for the students to hear good music, lectures on a wide variety of topics, exhibits, plays, etc., which are not ordinarily within reach. The majority of the students come from rural homes and, therefore, especially need contacts to help them find themselves in all the activities of a well-developed life, that they may not be narrow in their outlook and interests.
Martha D. Dinwiddie, Adviser.