Room Two

A Room of One's Own
The Residential Lives of Women at Cal, 1910-1915

When Lucy Sprague was appointed as the first dean of women in 1906, she set as one of her goals the improvement of housing for women. Women students either lived at home and commuted via streetcar or ferry, or lived in boarding houses where they frequently shared the facilities with men. Sprague inspected all of the rooming houses in Berkeley and established rules that included single-gender occupancy. A list of the approved rooming houses was sent to all incoming freshmen women. By 1915, 33% of Berkeley women lived in boarding houses, 15% lived in sororities or house clubs, and 2% lived in private homes where they worked for room and board.

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