You sit down for your morning coffee before class and begin reading a copy of East Tennessee State University’s newspaper. The paper consists of discussions over dorm rules, registration, the dean of the university and even some events happening in the area. This sounds pretty typical for a paper you would pick up today, right? Actually, this was the paper from July 12, 1968.
In July 1968, ETSU’s newspaper was called the Pirate Press, and the dean was Dr. Gorman G. Stout. Other than that, not much has changed about the paper per se.
Flipping through the pages of the old newspaper, one can be greeted with many of the same topics you can find in a copy of the East Tennessean today, such as current social movements.
If you’re a history buff, or have heard word from your parents or grandparents from the 1960s, then the idea of moral change is nothing new. Well this was the case in the old edition of the paper where dorm rules in relation to girls were discussed.
The primary debate over girls consisted of the hours at which girls could be out and who was allowed in their dorms.
“The purpose of dormitory hours for girls is to act as a guideline for setting up a schedule for for all activities,” Joan Dressel, former assistant dean of women, said in the paper. “The hours are to encourage the forming of habits which would allow for study, class and leisure.”
Others in the paper opposed such rules and challenged the ideas.
“I feel the dormitory hours enforced at ETSU are too strict; perhaps they would be acceptable for freshman to help them adjust to college life,” one student said. “If you are going to do something immoral, you are going to do it anyway.”
Other things included in the paper involved financial aid discussions and even new sporting events like the “Buc Open.”
Flipping through the yellowed pages of the 1968 Pirate Press, many of its contents reflected that of the current East Tennessean. Even more fascinating was discovering that ETSU’s paper was actually called The Chalkline back in the 1920’s, making the East Tennessean the paper’s third name change.
From July 1968 to now, nearly 51 years later, and even beforehand in its Chalkline days, one thing is for sure, ETSU’s student run newspaper remains in your corner.