Miss Southern - USM Student Handbook for Women (1966-67)
Upon entering college, students are often provided with handbooks on the rules/guidelines and basics about being a student at that particular institution. This may include information relating to student services, activities on campus, Student Government Association, and athletics. In addition to the general handbooks given to every student, the University of Southern Mississippi also had handbooks for women. Miss Southern provided women at USM with the rules and etiquette required from them as female students. Regarding the name of the handbook, the Miss Southern from 1966 states that "The girls at the University of Southern Mississippi are referred to by a name that is most appropriate. This name is "Miss Southern", and you as a Southern coed are "Miss Southern". ["As a Southern Co-ed"]
The handbook was published by the Women's Student Government Association and the Women's Affairs Board in the 1940s-1960s to "assist [female students] in adjusting and living successfully in our University setting." According to the President of the Women's Affairs Board, "Life at Southern offers the woman student a great deal academically, socially morally and spiritually." [Letter from President of Women's Affairs Board]
The Table of Contents [Table of Contents] states that topics such as smoking, visiting men's dorm rooms, answering the phone, and campus attire are addressed in the Miss Southern. The guidelines for campus attire are particularly interesting. [Campus Attire] "Sports attire" could only be worn on campus during certain times of the day and only in the cafeteria, post office, the first floor of the Student Union Building, the Hub, and in certain businesses across from campus like the Drug Store, Laundry, Cleaners, Beauty Shop, and Grocery Store. In other locations around campus, female students had to wear raincoats over the sports attire. There are even certain instances where women in sports garb were required to use the side or back door when entering the dorms, so that they may not be seen in the lobby in their shorts.
In The Drawl, the general handbook for University of Southern Mississippi students, there were some basic guidelines directed towards male students about their dress/conduct, but nothing like the details provided to female students in the Miss Southern. There was no "Mister Southern" published for male students at USM. Miss Southern provides an interesting glimpse into the expectations placed on female students at USM in the 1960s.
To look at this item, you may view the entire handbook online here or visit the 3rd floor of McCain Library & Archives to look at the original paper version. Miss Southern can be found at Miss LD3425 .A2 A665 1966-67. For more information on this item, contact Jennifer Brannock at or 601.266.4347. To see more Items of the Month, click here.
Other USM student handbooks for women available in Special Collections
Miss Southern - 1953-1954 (Miss LD3425.A2 A665 1953-54)
Miss Southern - 1964-1965 (Miss LD3425 .A2 A665 1964-65)
Miss Southern - 1967-1968 (Miss LD3425 .A2 A665 1967-1968)
Other USM student handbooks
We have many versions of USM student handbooks available from 1913-1998. Visit McCain Library & Archives to look at these books.
Text by Jennifer Brannock, Special Collections Librarian