Self-governing club at Elon

Pam Richter – Class of 2011
November 19th, 2010

Currently Resident Assistants serve as the watchdog in dorm rooms across Elon’s campus, but this was not always the case.  In September 1909, the East Dormitory self-governing club was established.  President E.L. Moffitt was upset with the behavior taking place in the dormitory and appointed professors W.P. Lawrence and Thomas Cicero Amick to draft a constitution and establish bylaws.

The self-governing club had a president and several board members.  Students were requested to report infractions of the dormitory regulations to the president of the organization and the board would then deal with the matter.  The students decided on the appropriate punishment for misbehavior, and the faculty members usually backed the students’ decisions.

A fine of 25 cents would be implemented for the following:
– Making unnecessary noise
– Loafing in another student’s room during study hours
– Behaving indecently
– Throwing trash from the windows of the building

In addition, a minimum fine of 25 cents and a maximum fine of one dollar could be inflicted for indecent language.  Those students who continually misbehaved or had more serious offenses, could be asked to vacate the dormitory.  According to the book Elon College: Its history and traditions, after the self-governing club was instituted, the men’s behaviors in the dormitory improved.

These self-governing clubs were the first form of student government established at Elon College.  In 1921 a more formal student government was established, which consisted of a student council, comprised of only women, and a student senate, which consisted of only men.

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