Skip to content Skip to navigation
Skip to global navigation Menu

January 14, 1936

Taking the affirmative to the resolution “Resolved: that for women a woman’s college is better than a coeducational unit,” junior class debaters defeated a freshman team. Speaking first for the junior team, Felicia Lamport ’37 declared that women in coeductional settings, “instead of concentrating on the 3 Rs…would be concentrating on the 3 As: appearance, amusement and athletics.” She also drew attention to the greater emphasis on athletics at coeducational colleges and the tendancy for men to “hold all the important jobs,” rendering women “unable to realize their potentialities.” Leading for the freshman team, Margaret Greenwell ’39 pointed to the greater expense of students obliged to travel on weekends for social activities and to the frequent stays in “the infirmary after a gay week-end.” “At Vassar,” she said, “we watch the world go by and the men go by.”

Miss Lampert’s colleague, Beth Craig ’37, contended that, while “marriage is looked forward to by every type of woman,” a woman’s college “teaches women respect for the company and opinions of other women.” Thus, she said, “this is an important phase of a woman’s life.” The final speaker for the negative, Alice Wilfert ’39, used recent statistics to support her contention that coeducation allowed women to be “able to work with men without becoming emotional. A coed realizes that men can be wonderful friends.” A few years ago, she said, one-sixth of the marriages were found to end in divorce and only one-seventy-fifth of these divorces involved coeds.

The Miscellany News

In later life, Felicia Lamport was widely recognized as a writer of satiric verse, appearing in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s. Her column The Muse of the Week in Review appeared in The Boston Globe for nearly two decades. At the time of her death in December 1999 The New York Times recalled lines from her topical poem after the manner of T. S. Eliot, “The Love Song of R. Milhous Nixon, 1973”:

Let us go then, in my plane,

For a weekend of repose in Key Biscayne;

When the view beneath our eyes appears unstable

Let us banish all incipient defeats

In one of my retreats.

The Times also offered her observation on maternal affection:

The after-effects of a mother’s neglects

May spoil her boy’s orientation to sex,

But the converse is worse: if she overprotects,

The pattern of Oedipus wrecks.

The Years