Associated Women Students Records, 1927-1968

Overview of the Collection

University of Idaho. Associated Women Students.
Associated Women Students Records
1927-1968 (inclusive)
1.0 cubic foot
Collection Number
UG 58
The records include constitution, regulations, officer lists, constitutional amendments, duties of council members and committees, handbooks, meeting minutes, financial documents, and programs of social events.
University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives
University of Idaho Library
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 2350
Moscow, ID
Telephone: 2088850845
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public. Researchers must use the collection in accordance with the policies of the University of Idaho Special Collections and Archives.

This collection is in English.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Associated Women Students (AWS) of the University of Idaho was a student organization composed of women who attended the university. The organization, originally called The Women’s Association, was a self-governing group supervised by the Dean of Women Students.

Dean of Women Students, Permeal French, was the prime motivator behind the AWS and other organizations for women at the University of Idaho. Organized in the spring of 1915, the purpose of the AWS was to promote women’s activities and to “create a spirit of unity and cooperation among the university women.” The AWS also sought to provide a code of ethics, guidance programs, and leadership opportunities.

By the 1920s the UI had three active women’s student organizations: The Women’s Council, Inter-Sorority Council, and Associated Women’s Students. It was said that the university bragged it was the only one in the country with this many student organizations for women. Before World War II the university enrolled about 3,000 students. Men outnumbered women three to one. By 1943, enrollment had dropped to about 1,200 total, and women outnumbered men two to one. The AWS began to dwindle in the late 1960s and ceased to exist after about 1969.

The AWS regulated and enforced rules and guidelines for student behavior and covered such issues as clothing, dating, smoking, drinking and traveling off-campus. Dean of Women Students, Permeal French, initiated the rules of conduct, some of which remained in effect until the late 1960s.

The AWS was responsible for organizing and initiating many programs for women students and the campus at large. The AWS took control of Campus Day in 1917 and organized the Women’s Rally for the Pullman Washington State University football games. May Fete was another AWS program; it took place every year in the spring.

The “Big Sister” program started in 1925. Students picked from the AWS were assigned to an incoming freshman woman to aid them in preparing for life at the university. Big Sisters communicated with incoming freshmen women over the summer through letters and then assisted them once they arrived on campus.

The AWS also provided loans to student women to help continue their enrollment at the university. In 1927, loans of nearly $1,000 were made to girls who would have been unable to stay in school without aid. According to AWS meeting minutes, the Depression era was the main force behind starting the AWS student loan fund.

Sources used in gathering the above information were from Keith C. Petersen’s This Crested Hill: The Illustrated History of the University of Idaho and the 1927 "Gem of the Mountains" yearbook.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The records of the AWS span the years 1927 to 1968, with the bulk of the material covering the years 1927 to 1962.

Included in the records are copies of the AWS constitution and other organizational papers, “Date Rules,” handbooks, meeting minutes ranging from 1927-1965, treasurers and account books, AWS student loan correspondence, May Fete programs and a Mother’s Tea Register from May 1937.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Consult Head of Special Collections and Archives on permission for use.

Preferred Citation

Associated Women Students Records, UG 58, Special Collections and Archives, University of Idaho Library, Moscow, Idaho.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Most of the materials in this group are in the form of bound notebooks or publications.

The first series the material is separated into two folders; the first contains AWS constitutions, regulation booklets, “Date Rules”, officer lists, council member and committee duties. The second series is a folder that contains AWS handbooks from 1938-1969.

The third series is the collection of meeting minutes. Meeting minutes in bound notebooks span from the years 1927 to 1963. The folders contain minutes where the bulk of the years are from 1960-1965. Two folders contain the Executive Board minutes from 1963-1964.

The fourth series contains a folder with two bound account ledgers. The check register was for AWS supplies and programming and the Loan Register deals with AWS student loans from 1928-1941. Two other bound treasurer’s books finish this series, with the dates ranging from 1935-1953.

The fifth series contains a folder and a bound notebook. The folder contains May Fete programs from the 1920s through the 1960s. The bound notebook is a Mother’s Tea Register from May 1937.

Location of Collection

Special Collections and Archives of the University of Idaho Library.

Processing Note

Processed by Jenny Johnson in January 2007.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I:  Organizational StructureReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 1
Constitution, Regulations, Date Rules, 1968, undated
1 2
AWS Officer lists, constitutional amendments, duties of council members and committees, 1946-1958

Series II:  HandbooksReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 3
AWS Handbooks, 1938-1969

Series III:  Meeting MinutesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 4
Meeting Minutes, bound notebook, 1927-1935
1 5
Meeting Minutes, bound notebook, 1935-1940
1 6
Meeting Minutes, bound notebook, 1942-1949
1 7
Meeting Minutes, bound notebook, 1949-1951, 1953-1955
1 8
Meeting Minutes, bound notebook, 1955-1963
1 9
Meeting Minutes, 1953, 1956, 1959
1 10
Meeting Minutes, 1960
1 11
Meeting Minutes, 1961
1 12
Meeting Minutes, 1962
1 13
Meeting Minutes, 1963
1 14
Meeting Minutes, 1964
1 15
Executive Board Minutes, 1963
1 16
Executive Board Minutes, 1964
1 17
Executive Board Minutes, 1965

Series IV:  Financial DocumentsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 18
Check Register for supplies and programming, 1933-1939
1 19
Loan Register, 1928-1941
1 20
Correspondence letters, bills receipts, 1930-1941
1 21
Treasurer’s Account Book, 1935-1941
1 22
Treasurer’s Account Book, 1941-1953

Series V:  Special EventsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 23
May Fete programs, 1920-1960
1 24
Mother’s Tea Register, bound notebook, 1937

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Women college students.