Room Two

A Room of One's Own

Berkeley's first sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, was formed in 1890, and by 1915 seventeen sororities had received charters. Each had its own chapter house providing a residence for its members, but the sororities excluded women of color and those from working-class backgrounds.

A Russian Party
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A Russian Party
308s.B6 v.36

House clubs were welcoming to a broader range of women students, but they were still not open to everyone. With financial support from Phoebe Apperson Hearst, two house clubs were established in 1900: Pie del Monte and Enewah, each with fifteen women students and a housemother. By 1915, there were fifteen house clubs in the blocks surrounding the campus.

House Clubs
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House Club insignia
308s.B6 v.35-37

In 1909 a private women's dormitory, College Hall, was constructed on the corner of Hearst and La Loma. Though it was built with the encouragement of the dean of women, it was not officially affiliated with the university. College Hall provided the first large-scale residence for women students at Berkeley.

College Hall
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College Hall
Private Collection

The Office of the Dean of Students set rules governing boarding houses that catered to women students. Only those houses that met these stringent regulations were included on the approved list, and freshmen women were not permitted to live in a house that was not approved.

Boarding House Rules
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Rules for student boarding houses, Office of the Dean of Women, July 3, 1915
CU-14.2 Carton 1

A woman student in her room at a typical Berkeley boarding house, circa 1912. The house was located at 2404 Dana Street, near Channing Way.

The Attic Room
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The Attic Room, circa 1912
UARC ALBUM 17

List of Sororities
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List of Sororities
That Sorority Rag
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That Sorority Rag
308s.B6 v.39
House clubs
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House Club insignia
308s.B6 v.36-37
List of House Clubs
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List of House Clubs
Woman's compact
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Woman's compact
Private Collection


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