This Week in Amherst History

One of many bold moves for increased freedom of the female sex occured 40 years ago this week when a group of Morrow freshmen formed CHASTE (Committee on Housing Accommodations Suitable for Tactful Entertainment) to protest the administration’s decision to forbid women from freshmen dorm rooms.

“The principal speaker, after brandishing the paper mascot girl-on-a-stick (whose cape was emblazoned: “CHASTE”), told the crowd of ‘friends, comrades and bourgeois pigs’ that ‘the time has come to strike!,” reported The Student. Shouts of “Virginity!” “Chastity!” and “Sieg Hiel” echoed in response to the principal speaker’s statement that “the best way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it!” One upperclassmen in the crowd said, “These people tell you I am for evility; I am for controlled evility.”

Unfortunately, the demonstration began to get out of hand when upperclassmen riled the freshmen and their dates to charge into the forbidden, upperclass rooms. According to The Student, “Rick Sims ’65 and fellow CHASTE-ers made a human barricade on the stairs and tried to stop the upward flow, [shouting] ‘You are being used! Upperclassmen want to get you upstairs just to see the fun.'” But, when most of the women present refused to go upstairs, the protest quickly fell apart.

Sims, however, repeated to The Student that CHASTE had nothing to do with the crowd’s decision to go into the rooms. “We just wanted to have an organized demonstration to make a point,” Sims told The Student. “Now we’ll have to wait until next year.”