These days, it’s not uncommon to take surveys about things like our use of campus spaces, our views regarding fossil fuel divestment, the quality of our academic courses, and other exciting and important topics.
In 1959, The Wesleyan Argus gave some Wesleyan students a very different kind of survey.
On Friday, October 23rd, 1959, the Argus’ front page shared the results of a questionnaire asking Wesleyan students (“Wesmen”) to rank women from other New England colleges on the basis of their beauty, personality, intelligence, desirability for blind dates, and potential to be wives. In their article, the writers explained their bizarre experiment:
With its usual interest in the cause of public enlightenment, the Argus recently offered Wesmen the opportunity to pass judgment on girls from five of the major New England colleges. The young lovelies were assessed via questionnaires on their looks, personality, intelligence, and desirability by 200 coldly calculating Wesleyan students.
And so, these students filled out the survey, sharing their “cold, calculating” judgments of the women of Connecticut College, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Vassar, and Wellesley. The results became front-page Argus news.
More after the jump: