“Get rid of those damned cards”
When Dr. Carrier entered Madison College’s presidency, he assumed the task of changing everything about the college to meet the attitudes of the 1970’s college student. An integral part of these changes were the transformation of many outdated social policies that had stuck around from the 1950’s and 1960’s. The residence hall administration was forced to make a complete 180 in order to support many new policies.
Up until 1971, women residents had to adhere to strict curfew and dating policies within the residence hall. Sign-out cards held by the dormitory hostess were the preferred method of keeping track over the residents, required under the school’s responsibility of In loco parentis. However, Carrier implemented a swift change to curfew regulations eliminating curfew for women over 21 in 1971, and eliminating curfew all together by 1972. According to _____ Carrier once spoke with a resident student’s mother who wanted her 22 year old daughter’s curfew cards revoked. Carrier is quoted responding to this situation, “I said get rid of those damned cards.”
Madison College residents each had a card for signing in and out of the building and a dating card that was approved by the resident’s parents. A Parental Approval Card recording the female residents’ dating activity was kept in the dormitory office behind a desk. According to the 1969-1970 student handbook, “This form shows the parental permission for the social activities of the woman student. The parental approval card of each woman student is on file in the offices of the dormitory hostess and may be checked at any time.” Men were required to stop by this desk in to tell the hostess or resident adviser who he was there to see, and then the staff member at the desk would call the resident’s room and tell her she had a male caller. A parental approval card displaying each resident’s parental approved dating list was held behind the desk and would be marked when the female resident left the building. The man would then wait in the lobby to greet his date when she came down.
1971 Madison College Student Handbook, Dormitory Policy section
Hilton, Fred D. Changing form a College to a University: Madison College to James Madison University 1971-1977, Harrisonburg, VA: James Madison University, 1996.
Sandra Lacks, Interview by Nicholas Spinner, 18 April 2013, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia.