Undergraduate Women as Campus Leaders

How were Berkeley women mobilized into the war effort?

An important milestone on the road to gender equality at Berkeley was reached in September of 1943, when Natalie Burdick was elected the first woman president of the ASUC. Burdick’s election was not an overnight phenomenon; it was prepared by several long-term tendencies that were accelerated by wartime conditions. Her election signaled that new kinds of women leaders had come to the foreground of student government. This essay will examine some of the milieus from which came and the causes they championed.

The ASUC, Stern Hall, and Student Housing

One of the long-term tendencies resulting in Natalie Burdick’s election was a growing dissatisfaction with business-as-usual at the ASUC, where women had been given representation but were consigned to second-class citizenship. In a previous installment of this series, we saw that until 1923 Berkeley’s official student government had excluded women’s participation, leading them to form a separate Associated Women Students organization. When the AWS merged with the ASUC to form a gender-integrated organization in 1923, women’s leadership roles were still limited. The office of ASUC Vice President, described as “Hostess”, was set aside for a woman on the assumption that the guaranteed post would be sufficient female representation among the top offices.

There had always been those who questioned that assumption, however, and in 1942, when women were being encouraged to take on new roles, a group of students challenged the fairness of reserving the presidency for men. Led by Vice President Catherine Henck, they proposed an amendment to the ASUC constitution explicitly affirming women’s eligibility to run for president. As Charles Dorn’s account of that campaign shows, the amendment, which required a two-thirds majority to pass, failed in the fall of ‘42, but it succeeded when put back on the ballot in the next spring. Then, in the very first election after women became eligible for the office, Natalie Burdick was elected president (Dorn, 545-548; Stadtman, 315).

The outcomes of that series of votes were no doubt affected by their timing in relation to the outbreak of war. Men were still a majority of the undergraduates on campus in the academic year 1942-3, outnumbering women by 2,000 (6,781 to 4,783). The percentage of women had fallen at the beginning of the Great Depression and stayed relatively low throughout the 1930s; apparently families with reduced incomes tended to spend them on their sons. But by 1943-4, when men were leaving college for the armed forces, their percentage reached a historic low of 46% (4,388 out of 9,537 students). The drop was probably already taking place in the spring of 1943, when the amendment passed, and had increased by the fall of ‘43, when Burdick was elected. The female majorities of the last two war years thus certainly helped equalize gender opportunity in Berkeley’s student government. 

But the demographic shift was not the only factor; other campus concerns in those years brought a new type of female leader into prominence. ASUC President Natalie Burdick, unlike most women student government officers before her, was not affiliated with a sorority. As we saw in an earlier episode of this series, non-Hellenic women were usually underrepresented in the ASUC. Because such a high proportion of women commuted to school, the small minority that actually lived near campus in sorority houses had an advantage in gaining leadership positions. They were well-known to each other as well as to fraternity men, and they often had leisure for many extracurricular activities. In 1942, though, the usual living patterns were suspended: sorority houses were commandeered by the military, and simultaneously, Stern Hall, the first university-owned residence for women, opened its doors. President Natalie Burdick, a public speaking major with a minor in art, came from Stern Hall, and had already served as one of the first presidents of the Stern Hall Association (Finacom, Dorn, 547). Prior to Burdick’s election, only one other ASUC president had been chosen from outside the Greek-letter establishment, a resident of the first men’s dormitory, Bowles Hall. Thus even these first, modest attempts at breaking with Berkeley’s historical practice by building residence halls made independent students more electable. Although Stern Hall housed just 137 out of over 5,000 women students—and it would be decades before more residence halls opened—its existence created a center of women’s organized student life free from the social exclusions sororities practiced.

colored image of stern hall, the first women's dormitory, funded by Rosalie Meyer Stern

We can get a sense of life at Stern Hall in the war years from the oral history of one of its early residents: alumna, philanthropist, and university benefactor Rhoda Haas Goldman (’45). Her description reveals what Stern Hall signified at the time. Rhoda Haas was, to be sure, an uncommon resident: the granddaughter of donor Rosalie Meyer Stern, who built and gave Stern Hall to the university. Young Rhoda had visited the site when the residence was being planned and heard her grandmother explain that she was building it because she had learned that some women students lived in cellars and garrets in Berkeley. Living in the residence hall her grandmother had built was no doubt a point of pride, but Rhoda Haas’s choice of housing was also motivated by having faced the unwillingness of most sororities to accept Jewish members: 

I had maybe half a dozen bids [to rush sororities], and I went. After the first round I got invited by two to return. I can’t remember the name of one of the sororities, and the other one was Alpha Epsilon Phi, which, of course, was the Jewish sorority. I didn’t pursue it, as I just wasn’t interested. But there again was the Jewish situation, of elimination (Goldman, 18).  

Goldman explained that anti-Jewish discrimination could be practiced in the sororities, which were private and “had their own rules”, but not in university-run residences. Stern Hall in the years immediately after its opening, she recalled, “had a wonderful spirit . . . because everybody was thrilled to be there. It was a great group of women” (Goldman, 12). The new residence hall, in short, represented an alternative to a Hellenic system segregated along racial and religious lines.

image of the housing board in 1941 lined up in 3 rows on brick steps, which is comprised mostly of menNatalie Burdick’s campaign for ASUC President was launched from Stern Hall, and it also highlighted the issue of affordable student housing. Vice President Catherine Henck, the author of the amendment that made Burdick’s presidency possible, had been campaigning for dormitories since her sophomore year; she was secretary of the Student Housing Board, a primarily female committee, and she was the student member on the University administration's Committee on Living Accommodations (Moorsteen). Burdick’s campaign tied the dormitory issue to that of higher student wages. By linking those two issues, she framed the housing questions as a matter of social equity: university housing would help to equalize the students’ living and studying conditions. She promised to work for both a higher campus minimum wage and university-financed residences to control rising rent costs (Dorn, 548).

As new wartime residents crowded into the city, room and board became scarcer and rents increased, while students who worked on campus to support themselves had their wages frozen by government anti-inflationary measures. Burdick’s campaign thus highlighted conditions that especially affected low-income women and minority students, whose housing options were limited even in normal times. Although the ASUC under Burdick’s leadership actually did manage to win a raise in the student workers’ minimum wage (Dorn, 548), the university’s stubborn opposition to building student housing remained throughout the war and even into the postwar period, despite the fact that all other major public universities had already provided dormitories by the forties. 

The YWCA

Burdick was by no means the only woman leader to link student housing to social justice during the war. Indeed, her efforts worked in tandem with those of the University YWCA, whose activities can help us see how housing emerged as a civil rights issue. Advocating dormitories might seem to be an apolitical attempt to improve student welfare, but in practice it was often coupled with the more obviously political issues of racial and religious discrimination. In Berkeley during the1930s, 40s, and 50s, the difference between apolitical and political speech was tremendously important because UC had a system-wide prohibition—Rule 17—against politics on campus. Students interested in social reform were thus attracted to issues that could import a message onto campus without setting off Rule-17 alarm bells. Student housing, putatively nonpolitical but nevertheless politically adjacent, was a convenient bridge for students who wanted to introduce issues of wide social concern onto campus.

Rule 17 would trigger the Free Speech Movement in 1964, but before that momentous event, one of its primary effects was the growth around the campus’s periphery of lively political locations, such as the space south of Sather Gate, which is now Sproul Plaza but was then city property. Of the many church and community centers that allowed students to organize politically, the headquarters of the two “Y”s, YWCA and YMCA, were the most important. Unlike the ASUC, the “Cottage”, which housed the YWCA offices, and the larger YMCA Stiles Hall, where both men and women held public events, could mount overtly political action. Moreover, their meeting and assembly rooms could be rented for use by all sorts of other political groups.

UC President Clark Kerr explained in his 2001 memoir that the Ys came to play a central role in the campus’s political ecology:

Stiles Hall . . . was the most important off-campus center for student activism in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. The administration informally encouraged it as a safety valve. Campus politics pitted the independents around Stiles Hall against members of the fraternities and sororities, and the latter were always dominant in campus politics (Kerr, 96).

a female figure looking out from Julia Morgan's YWCA cottage with Sather Gate in the distance

Always dominant, that is, except during the war years, when the rise of independent women leaders and the decline of fraternities and sororities went hand-in-hand, and the YWCA especially emerged as a dominant force. As Kerr notes, the evolution of the Ys into political forces resulted from the pressures of Rule 17 and the absence of other places (e.g., dormitories) where students could gather off campus. Thus, the organizations’ very centrality evidenced the absence of university housing and other independent student facilities.  


The YWCA’s off-campus location was not the only reason it became an advocate for racial integration, however. Originally founded to encourage protestant Bible study and charitable action, the YWCA also helped train missionaries and to work among women in immigrant communities. It therefore encouraged its members to learn foreign languages and acquire a knowledge of other cultural traditions. Its developing multi-culturalism eventually made it an influential champion for minority welfare and civil rights (Park, 480-84). By the late 1930s the University YWCA, was an ecumenical establishment, open to all religions and races, and attractive even to secular students who wanted to join an organization with an active civil rights agenda. The national YWCA wrote a widely disseminated open letter to President Roosevelt protesting racial segregation in the armed forces in the early forties, and the University YWCA chapter had been speaking out against boarding house owners who refused to rent to minority students since the thirties (Clemens, . In the early forties, it had over seven hundred dues-paying members, including Catholics, Jews, Blacks, Chicanas, and Filipina-Americans, as well as 136 international students (Dorn, 553), and its members often tied their civil rights agenda to the quest for housing reform.

image of UC Berkeley's international house in 1930
For example, the YWCA had been active in promoting the building of International House, which opened in 1930, "to foster intercultural respect and understanding, lifelong friendships and leadership skills for the promotion of a more tolerant and peaceful world”. I-House was a haven for both foreign students and American minorities. According its founder, the site on Piedmont Avenue near the Greek-letter houses was chosen in order to “strike bigotry right hard in the nose” (“International House”). International House soon became another of the political zones on the campus’s periphery.



When I-House was requisitioned by the Navy in 1942 (Stadtman, 314), YWCA students redoubled their attempts to find “fair housing” in the community. Off campus, where they could be frankly political, they worked with local church groups and lobbied city council members to oppose racist real estate covenants. Most important for our purposes, they brought the issue of racial discrimination onto campus by linking it to the problem of student housing. Dorn catalogues their on-campus initiatives during the war years:

 YWCA members surveyed minority students regarding the challenges many confronted in securing adequate and affordable housing and conveyed their findings to university administrators. They established a housing bureau to assist minority students in locating accommodations and, by refusing to list facilities that discriminated, pressured landlords to open their units to students regardless of race. Urging the student body to pledge not to seek accommodations in boarding houses refusing to serve minorities, they . . . convinced the ASUC to endorse a resolution opposing racist and religious discrimination in student housing and supporting efforts to have boarding house owners sign a pledge of nondiscrimination before being placed on the university’s list of approved accommodations (Dorn, 557).

In short, the University YWCA’s status as an off-campus organization with an on-campus presence allowed it to promote its political and social vision through a campaign for student welfare, thereby making it eligible for on-campus student government action. It was another route by which the non-Hellenic women set the agenda during the war years.

Nisei Student Internment

a Japanese baby holding its internee label, seen looking through a train windowThe most outrageous and disgraceful civil-rights violation of the war years was the removal of over 117,000 people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast states and their incarceration, first in hastily constructed “assembly camps” and then in remote inland locations, often barren wastelands where dust storms and blizzards were common. Both Japanese immigrants (Issei), who were “ineligible for citizenship”, and Japanese American citizens (second-generation Nisei) were removed from their homes and confined. In April of 1942, 1,319 Berkeley residents, 500 of whom were members of the university community, including faculty, staff, students, and their families, were given approximately ten days to sell their property or leave it behind, pack only what they could actually carry, and report to the First Congregational Church for transportation to Tanforan Assembly Center (Kell, Uchida, 40). The removal had been made possible by an executive order signed several months earlier by President Roosevelt, giving the army permission to designate coastal areas as “military zones” from which residents with ancestors who came from enemy nations could be banned. In theory, the order cleared the way for the transportation of German and Italian Americans as well, but only the Japanese were actually moved out of their home states and put in concentration camps. Hundreds of Nisei UC students found themselves rushing to finish course work before they would be separated from their classmates and incarcerated. It’s an understatement to say their educations were interrupted; the whole fabric of their lives was unraveled.

The fullest first-person account of this chapter in Berkeley’s history was published by alumna Yoshiko Uchida (’42) in Desert Exile: The Uprooting of a Japanese American Family (1982). Uchida was a Berkeley native who, like many of her Nisei classmates, lived at home and was a leader in Japanese American groups, both on campus and at the YWCA. In the days of frantic packing and selling off belongings before their removal, she and her friends “became sentimental and took pictures of each other at favorite campus sites. The war had jolted us into a crisis whose impact was too enormous for us to fully comprehend, and we needed these small remembrances of happier times to take with us as we went our separate ways to various government camps throughout California” (Uchida, 44). This reaction of feeling sentimental about their Cal days, rather than angry or bitter about the egregious denial of their rights, has puzzled later generations, who have wondered why the Nisei yielded to the order with such stoical composure. A letter to The Daily Californian written by an anonymous Nisei, though, shows that containing their anger, channeling it appropriately, and seeking allies might have been an effective way of appealing to the public. The letter’s conclusion, which Uchida says expressed “the feelings of most of us at that time” (45), has a rhetorical power that can still be felt:

True, we are being uprooted from the lives that we have always lived, but if the security of the nation rests upon our leaving, then we will gladly do our part. We have come through a period of hysteria, but we cannot blame the American public for the vituperations of a small but vociferous minority of self-seeking politicians and special interest groups. We cannot condemn democracy because a few have misused the mechanism of democracy to gain their own ends. . . . In the hard days ahead, we shall try to re-create the spirit which has made us so reluctant to leave now, and our wish to those who remain is that they maintain here the democratic ideals that have operated in the past. We hope to come back and find them here. (Quoted in Uchida, 44)  

By presenting the Nisei students as people willing to cooperate with the authorities, the letter seeks to dispel any suspicion of their disloyalty and signals instead their patriotic faith in the long-term processes of democracy. While recognizing the injustice, the letter blames the removal on the “vituperations of a small but vociferous minority”. It then contrasts those “self-seeking politicians and special interest groups” with the university community’s adherence to “democratic ideals”, thus absolving its campus readers of guilt and bringing them into solidarity with the victims.  

poster of weary male soldier with rifle in hand and woman with back turned, with red overlay of the words "citizen 13660"

Uchida’s book, to be sure, tells us how much the actual hardships exceeded the expectations of the students and their families. The dehumanization, humiliation, harshness, squalor, and disorganization coupled with the unsanitary, exposed, and half-finished dwellings took an increasingly larger toll as their time in the camps lengthened. After an initial six months at Tanforan (a hastily converted race track in San Bruno where they lived in horse stalls still smelling of manure) they were moved to a site of uncompleted barracks in one of Utah’s high deserts called “Topaz”. Uchida’s book also records the untiring efforts of the internees to organize, educate, comfort, heal, feed, and entertain each other.

All those aspects of life in the camps were also documented by alumna and artist Miné Okubo (B.A. 35, M.A.’38), whose artistic productivity during her imprisonment was displayed in her 1946 book, Citizen 13660, containing 206 of the over 2,000 drawings she made of everyday experiences while incarcerated. With a spare and dispassionate text, Okubo’s primarily graphic narrative was the first account of an internee’s experience to be published, and it filled the gap in the public’s understanding of the internment caused by the banning of cameras from the camps. In addition to creating a record, Okubo and other interned artists generated the sense of community that comes from the transformation and sharing of a group’s transitory life experiences in works of art. Okubo helped establish art schools at Tanforan and Topaz, where children and adults (including Uchida) flocked to find expressive outlets (Spring).

  

black and white image of Camp Topaz with barracks on the sides and an American flag in the center

While these Berkeley women endured their ordeal and continued to lead their peers, the UC community helped and supported them in small and large ways. In the days of anxious preparation before removal, the YWCA helped families with paperwork and childcare (Clemens, 16), and the organization continued monitoring their condition in Tanforan and at Camp Topaz (Park, 488-501). Both the general secretary of the YW and Berkeley’s Assistant Dean of Women visited Uchida and her family while they were interned (Uchida, 84). The most important Berkley initiative, though, was the creation of paths out of the camps for hundreds of students. Indeed, even before the war started, while tensions were building between the US and Japan, a group of prominent UC figures came together to plan strategies for the protection of Japanese Americans. The group included President Sproul, former President Barrows, and a former missionary, Galen Fisher, who was a lecturer in Political Science, chair of the board of trustees of the Pacific School of Religion, and a friend of Uchida’s family. Historian David Hollinger explains that although they couldn’t prevent the internment, they did assemble a coalition of church groups, political organizations, and academic leaders that had some influence on the War Relocation Office, which managed the camps (Hollinger, 155-59).



Uchida recalls visits from Galen Fisher in Tanforan and explains the significance of his work especially for Nisei college students:

Fisher . . . realized the importance of getting the Nisei, particularly the students, back into schools as soon as possible in communities acceptable to the War Department [i.e., not in West Coast states]. To accomplish this, a Student Relocation Committee was organized in Berkeley under the leadership of the YMCA- YWCA, several university presidents, other educators, and church leaders. This group was extremely helpful in assisting students to leave the “assembly centers.” In May, the Student Relocation Committee merged with other groups working on this issue, and under the aegis of the American Friends Service Committee (a body that worked tirelessly for the Japanese Americans throughout the war) formed the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council, later headquartered in Philadelphia.

The Student Relocation Council coordinated the release from the camps of more than 4,000   Nisei students and their placement in over 600 Mid-Western and East-Coast colleges and universities (Austin). 

sepia image of Uchida family of 4 at Camp Topaz with Yoshiko on the far left.Consequently, most Berkeley students whose educations were interrupted did not sit out the war and then return to finish their degrees; instead, they became students at institutions where there were few or no other ethnic Japanese. This exit route for students began to appear just months into the internment. Yoshiko Uchida, who received her Berkeley B.A. while at Tanforan, passed up the opportunity for release to a graduate program during that first summer because she felt the community needed her work as a teacher. But after the harsh desert winter at Topaz, she was urged by her family to take a graduate fellowship at Smith College. Her older sister, Keiko, was hired at Mt. Holyoke College in their Education Department’s preschool, and the two sisters left Topaz in the spring of 1943. Okubo stayed until 1944, documenting daily life at Topaz in the Camp magazine Trek, until Fortune magazine invited her to work as one of their illustrators in New York (Hong). The release and relocation effort that saved numerous students’ college careers fit into the War Department’s increasing tendency to disperse detainees instead of keeping them locked away. Under controlled circumstances they were allowed to join the Army, to be agricultural field hands, and to work in other industries away from the West Coast. Many of the organizations that had protected their interests also cooperated in their dispersal.      

The Daily Cal vs. the American Legion  

poster of 1943 executive order declaring all citizens had equal rights to serve in armed forces

Scattering the Nisei has come to be criticized as forced assimilation, which was damaging to a minority culture (Park, 500-515), but at the time it was attacked as a form of “molly-coddling” them. Indeed, the most vociferous public censure of Japanese American internment came not from advocates of civil liberties but from rightwing critics of the Roosevelt administration. Their voices grew louder as the relocation efforts increased in 1943, putting the protectors of the internees in the position of defending the new status quo. The American Legion led a noisy campaign to take the camps out of the civilian control of the War Relocation Office and place them under the Army’s auspices, effectively turning the Japanese Americans into war prisoners. Roosevelt pushed back and further inflamed the American Legion by signing a new executive order declaring that all citizens regardless of race had equal rights to do “work essential to the war effort”. As a consequence, both Nisei men and women were recruited to become regular servicemen and women. According to Joyce Nao Takahashi, the U. S. Cadet Nurse Corps “recruited in the internment camps with the result that more than 350 Nisei women joined the cadets.” Other Nisei women were recruited to join the WACs and to work in the Military Intelligence Service (Takahashi, 13). While young Nisei were leaving the camps for the military, the WRO was moved even deeper into the civilian part of the government by being taken out of the War Department and put into the Department of the Interior (The Displaced, 6). These liberalizing developments further incensed the American Legion and its allies.  

In the fall of 1943, one of the American Legion’s attacks on the Roosevelt administration’s policies had explosive reverberations on campus and around the Bay Area. At its national convention in San Francisco in the summer 1943, a leading Legionnaire had declared, “This is not the time to take the Japanese out of the camps and put them back into universities” (quoted in Dorn, 549). The convention delegates then went on to adopt a resolution that called for the military control of internment camps, the expulsion of all Japanese from the armed services, forced labor under armed guards instead of college for internees, and a national policy about how to deal with the “problem” of Japanese Americans after the war.

As Charles Dorn has shown, the editor of The Daily Californian, Mary Ogg (’44)retorted to the American Legion’s resolution with a forcefully derogatory editorial. Like the Ys and International House, the editorial office of The Daily Californian was another place that attracted students interested in promoting social change. According to Marguerite Higgins’s biographer, “the newspaper challenged the status quo through editorials and investigative reporting” in the late thirties and early forties (A. May, 35-6). Mary Ogg’s outspoken judgment on the American Legion’s resolution was very much in the tradition of Daily Cal editorializing:

It has often been said that if Fascism comes to the United States, it will be called Americanism. Newspaper reports of the San Francisco convention reveal that this militant, well-organized, politically and economically influential, and purportedly 100 per cent American organization contains the seeds of Fascism.

The group in control [of the American Legion] has laid down a policy which is rampantly nationalistic, intolerant of other nations and other peoples, intolerant of minorities within the United States, lacking in regard for the rights of citizens, and strongly emotional in its approach to social and political problems.    

She concluded that their resolution gave “fair warning . . . that the American Legion is a potentially dangerous organization” (quoted in Dorn, 549). The editorial was picked up and reprinted in the San Francisco Chronicle and Sacramento Bee, which led to a torrent of angry letters accusing Ogg of being unpatriotic and disrespectful to her elders (the Legion was composed mainly of men who fought in WWI).

picture of Daily Cal editor and investigative journalist Mary Ogg looking into camera

Ogg’s turn as editor came to an end shortly after the brouhaha started, but the next editor, Virginia Bottoroff continued the fight with a critique of the Legion’s resolution that brings its immediate context into sharper focus. The resolution, Bottoroff emphasizes, is directed against “the proper authorities”, the current managers of the camps, who were already, she claimed, taking appropriate action. She accuses the Legion of itself being disloyal by trying to place itself above the current government: “Taken point by point the resolution is indicative of the American Legion’s policy of discrediting the United States government and its agencies and thus reflecting credit on itself” (quoted in Dorn, 551). The irony is that Bottoroff needed to defend the rights of the internees by claiming that the government responsible for their incarceration was acting properly and should be allowed to exercise its authority. She justified the status quo to fend off the threat of even worse treatment.

The episode came to a dramatic climax when the local Legionnaires asked Bottoroff to come in person to a meeting in Oakland to explain The Daily Cal’s position. There she told the large crowd, “The fact that you have worn the uniform of your country does not make your opinion sacrosanct. It does entitle you to a certain amount of consideration but not to the point of allowing your expressed sentiments against liberty and democracy to go unchallenged” (quoted in Dorn, 551). There was a bit of an uproar at one point, with a man shouting the question, “Do you happen to be a child of a man who didn’t join the Legion?” (Dorn 552). But the next day in The Daily Californian, Bottoroff politely thanked the members of the Legion for the attention with which they listened to “the opinion of thinking college youth” (Dorn, 552). Once again, she argued that the Legion was wrong to call for changes in the status quo; the War Relocation Office should continue its work.

It no doubt took considerable bravery for these Daily Cal editors to pick a fight with the American Legion, and yet their statements were limited by the wartime context. They shared the dilemma faced by all of the defenders of the internees: in order to mitigate the confinement and release the maximum number of people, they needed to support the the Roosevelt administration. Most defenders of the Japanese Americans adopted the same strategy: avoiding the forthright expression of their opposition to the internment, they concentrated on ameliorating the conditions in the camps and recruiting a network of volunteers to work with the War Relocation Office in dispersing and resettling thousands of California’s Japanese Americans (Hollinger, 157).

The experience of the defenders of the internees might prompt us to reflect on the paradox of the war’s impact on women in campus politics. It did bring women undergraduates with social justice agendas into leadership positions from which they urged significant reforms and even accomplished a few. Moreover, some of them found their life’s work in their wartime student activism. For example, Mary Ogg (later Barnett, ’44) the fearless editor of The Daily Californian, spent the next fifty years as an investigative newspaper reporter. She exposed corruption in local government and environmental exploitation in both California and New Mexico. In her December 2014 obituary in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, her family asked readers to “honor her memory by booting out a corrupt official in her name” (“Mary Ogg Barnett”). And Catherine Henck (later Lovell ’42), who led the effort to allow women to run for president of the ASUC, spent twenty years working for public service organizations  (many of them involved with public housing) before taking a PhD in Public Administration and teaching at UC Riverside until her retirement 1988 (Hanson).

Of course, the war also constrained their political expression, and its conclusion ended the short span of their leadership by unleashing the influx of an extraordinarily large number of male students. The arrival of the war veterans dropped the proportion of women down to just 29% of the student body in 1948, their lowest level since 1891. But it is precisely because theirs was a brief ascendancy that their accomplishments need to be remembered here. They stand out in vivid contrast to the period of campus quietism that would soon follow while anticipating the student activism that would revive in later decades. 






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