This month in Mount Holyoke News history: December

BY MICHALA SAWYER '17 

The Mount Holyoke News reviews a sampling of 50 years of headlines and news-worthy stories. 

1966

Development administrator for the new Hampshire College speaks at MHC. In 1958, the four-college committee proposed the idea of creating a fifth college as a way to “enhance inter-college cooperation among Mount Holyoke, Smith, Amherst and the University of Massachusetts.” The development and planning administrator of Hampshire College, Kenneth Rosenthal, emphasized that Hampshire would be an independent college, unlike the original plan for the school. The administration for Hampshire projected that each class would be comprised of 360 students with full enrollment of 1,440. 

Rosenthal proposed a tentative system of House Masters and Dorm Proctors. The House Master would be a professor living with his family in a connecting home to the dormitory. They would act as an accessible adult community member for students to consult. The Dorm Proctor, specified as a woman, would handle “routine dormitory matters.” 

1976

Food services discussed the problem of students “borrowing” dining hall china and silverware. The director of food services, John Hansel, claimed that the department had spent $7000 replacing over 6000 dishes and utensils. Hansel initiated an “awareness campaign,” as the problem had been getting steadily worse over the years. “Students just don’t realize the extent of the problem,” claimed Hansel. “We find silverware in the bushes or out on Skinner Green. Students have the attitude that ‘it’s not my cup,’ and that’s causing the shortage.” Hansel said that he hoped being honest about costs would cause students to show more concern. After all, the students were the ones who would end up paying for it via their tuition. Hansel said that if the information campaign did not reduce the number of dishes that disappeared, then he would be forced to come up with some method to prevent students from taking dishes out of the dining hall.

1986

Students started wearing pink triangles that the Lesbian Alliance student organization distributed in an effort to promote awareness for LGBTQ rights. The triangle, which was first used during World War II to indicate the homosexuals in Nazi concentration camps, had been reclaimed by people identifying as gay and lesbian and now represented a symbol of solidarity. The Mount Holyoke Lesbian Alliance wished to increase awareness in response to a discriminatory banner hung from the exterior of Skinner Hall on Nov. 19, 1986 and the prior destruction of the Alliance’s bulletin board. The dean of students issued a statement condemning those acts of intolerance. 

Kathy Brandt ’87, the social coordinator for the Alliance, said that the Mount Holyoke campus’s attitude was “pseudo-liberal.” She explained that the attitude on campus was that “if you are a lesbian, we don’t want to know. If you come out and are vocal about it, then you’re going to pay by losing your friends, or being talked about and sometimes harassed openly.” Student responses to the triangles were mainly positive, as one sophomore said, “It’s a good thing if people learn something…as long as it doesn’t become trendy…or people don’t start thinking that everyone here is a lesbian.”

1996

“Be afraid, be very afraid. A new attraction is sweeping through Massachusetts as we speak, and no one is safe,” wrote Lauren Razzore ’98 and Lisa George ’98. At both the Hampshire and Holyoke malls, a laser tag venue, Laser Storm, had opened where a group of friends could go and enjoy a night of mayhem for a small fee. The second floor was called the “Galactic Arena” where players were fitted with a headset, a phasor and a power pack. After being split up into teams and moved to opposite sides of the arena, players were required to shoot the headset or phasor of the players on the opposing team. The arena was under a black light where fluorescent orange and green barriers and shields glowed brightly. Ambient techno music, like the theme song from “Mortal Kombat,” provided the perfect atmosphere to battle the enemy. Razzore and George said, “If you are on a tight budget and in need of a good stress release during finals this is the place for you. Each game is conveniently priced at an affordable three dollars. Power up!”

2006

Mount Holyoke Lyons wins Seven Sisters Basketball Tournament for the fifth year in a row. The Lyons faced Bryn Mawr in the first round and squeaked by with a 49-41 victory. Co-captain Angela Astuccio ’07 said, “We did not play our best basketball against Bryn Mawr. They wanted to beat us pretty badly and were successful at disrupting our flow.” Coach Michelle Scecina, regarding their semifinals game against Vassar, said that their “awesome team defense” was responsible for their second victory. The Lyons played against Swarthmore for the fourth consecutive year. Astuccio said, “If we could play basketball the way we did during that championship game, we would not lose another game this year.” Astuccio received Tournament MVP, while her co-captain, Joeanna Silvey ’07, was named defensive MVP. 

Mount Holyoke News

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