Letter from M.A. Harris, Dean, Elmira College, (Open Letter to Parents) to Alfred E. Stearns, October 5, 1926


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Letter from M.A. Harris, Dean, Elmira College, (Open Letter to Parents) to Alfred E. Stearns, October 5, 1926


Letter from M.A. Harris, Dean, Elmira College, (Open Letter to Parents) to Alfred E. Stearns, October 5, 1926



We are writing you concerning the arrangements at the college in regard to any outside social life you may at any time desire your daughter to enjoy. In the first place, however, we wish to explain that in the judgment of the Administration the social life inside the college is so varied and full that social engagements outside the college are not necessary for the proper recreation which every student needs. Should you decide that during her college years you do not desire that your daughter shall during term time have other social pleasures than these, she will in our judgment be the more likely to get the best from her college life.

Should you on the other hand for any reason wish that she may be allowed certain other privileges enjoyed by girls of her years, our regulations require notification of this from you, as follows:-

1) Because of the uncertainty as to the security of the ice which forms in the Chemung River, we require a special letter on file for those students who wish to skate there.

2) Because of other dangers we require a special letter of permission in the case of students who wish to do active philanthropic work in the city.
3) Because of the tendency to homesickness on the part of freshmen we ask a special letter of permission from parents who wish freshmen to visit home from time to time as they may desire.
4) Because we deprecate attendance upon dancing parties in the city, as unsettling to the student’s work and because we can assume no responsibility for the character of the persons our students may meet at such general gatherings, we ask a special letter of permission for students whose parents are willing they should go to dancing parties in the city.

In the four cases named above a letter of general permission to cover affairs for the year will answer, should you care to give it.

5) There are however conditions under which we do not accept such general permission. One of these is absence from the college residence halls for over night when the student is not going to her own home or to the home of a near relative. In order that a student may leave college for over night to visit elsewhere, it is necessary that a letter SPECIAL TO THE OCCASION shall be on file at the Dean’s Office, received by her from the parent or guardian of the student, naming the lady to be visited and the address of this lady, and if possible the precise date of the approved visit. The regulations do not allow us to accept general permissions for a student to make visits or to be absent over week-ends, either in or out of the City of Elmira. Local guardians for out of town students are not recognized by the College (Exceptions to this ruling may be made by the Social Committee in special cases such as when a guardian is required for students from foreign lands.) We are not allowed to base permissions in any case upon our personal opinion of the social desirability of the visit.

Perhaps it should be mentioned that in any case a student may not leave college for over night more than three times a semester unless her class standing is exceptionally high or unless she is summoned home on account of illness in the family. For this reason it is desirable to plan visits well in advance of the date set. Leaving college at the time of published vacations is not counted as one of the allowed three absences nor is permission necessary for absence at that time.

Very cordially yours,

M. A. Harris
Dean of Elmira College


M.A. Harris


Phillips Academy


October 5, 1926


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