Residence Hall Staff: Intro

The 1970’s at Madison College, soon to be James Madison University, saw dramatic changes in the physical and social life of the campus.  Physically the campus continued to grow with new residence halls, academic buildings, and a new gym.  Along with the rapid increase of enrollment and students living on campus came a change in student attitudes and behaviors.  Students in the 70’s held drastically different expectations than the students of the 60’s, such as: new visitation, curfew, and alcohol policies, and no restrictions on dating practices.  Many of the students desired new freedom from leaving their homes, causing the school to leave the ideas of “in loco parentis” behind.


“Even as late as 1969, dormitory hostesses or housemothers provided a matronly presence to enforce the rules and watch for signs of danger” (Jones, 145).

The school had to make many changes to policies outlined in the student handbook and many changes to structure of the system that would enforce the new policies.  “Housemothers” gave way to “head residents” and “Hall monitors” became “resident advisors.”  The Office of Residence Halls, today the Office of Residence Life, was created in the mid 1970’s and throughout the 70’s the roots of the Office of Residence Life current system become much more visible.  The development of the Office of Residence Halls was necessary to keep up with the changing social atmosphere of the students along with the physically rapid growth of the campus and the student body.


Works Cited:

Jones, Nancy. Rooted on Bluestone Hill: A History of James Madison University. Santa Fe, NM: Center for American Places, Inc, 2004. Print.