While the beginning of the academic year may leave you feeling in need of some intellectual spice, the men of 1960s Princeton had an effective tool for dealing with those intellectually-droning days: women. That’s right. During a trial “Coed Week” in 1968, a student committee reviewed 2,500 applications for 800 slots (putting their bicker skills to work), which allowed women to get a week-long experience of undergraduate life at Princeton.
In a New York Times article that week—appropriately titled “What Turns Princeton On Intellectually? Coeds”—the reviews of the women were overwhelmingly positive:
- “It’s good intellectually and every other way to have girls around,” said a junior.
- “I enjoyed lecturing much more with girls in my class…Girls are stimulating creatures to have around,” said an assistant professor of sociology.
- “Sisyphus would have loved it…Girls were in the classrooms, the sun was shining, and all was well in the world,” said a student.
And Princeton knew how to treat the ladies. They brought in cots, had a fondue reception, and even equipped the bathrooms with flowered toilet paper. Of course, it was not difficult to solicit students’ help in acquiring housing for the visitors. In Transforming the Tiger, Catherine Keyser’s history of undergraduate women at Princeton, one student is reported saying, “Can’t she share it [the bed] with me?”
Here’s a new proposal for the USG: bring back flowered toilet paper. Sisyphus would love it.
image source: PAW