hObbes, comments on some very interesting minutes that he found detailing approaches to hair styles at Helderberg College in the 1970's.
I quote some of his observations. (NOTE: Read his whole blog for more interesting analysis and discussion on the issue)
At the January 11, 1973 Helderberg College staff meeting, it was voted that the following guidelines for a conservative hairstyle be presented to all college students:
a) Side-burns – well-trimmed and not lower than the ear-lobe.
b) Hair must not reach the collar, or have a bushy appearance.
c) Ears must be clear, and foreheads clean.
Further, it was voted that College students be “permitted to grow short, neat moustaches” and that students in their third or fourth year of study or who were 24 years of age or over, “be permitted to wear short neat beards.”
On August 7, 1973 at a meeting of the five member “Men’s Dress Committee” it was voted that a sketch of the “prescribed high school hair style” be provided to the College’s official barber, and that he be requested to “strictly adhere to it.” At the time both the primary school and high school were included under the label “Helderberg College”.
Less than a year later, there were still problems: a memorandum issued by the college principal to “all Department Heads” pointed out that “some students are apparently not abiding by the dress and grooming regulations of the College.” One specific problem was “Non-regulation hairstyles by men.”
By 1975, the rules had relaxed ever so slightly. College students were permitted:
a) “Well trimmed” sideburns,
b) Hair that does not “overhang the collar or have a bushy appearance,”
c) To have “Part of the ear…covered”, (What a radical step forward!)
d) “short neat moustaches”.
e) Students who were in their third or fourth year/over the age of 24, were permitted “short neat beards”.
Obviously at some stage, these rules were relaxed—the current Student Handbook (2005) makes no mention of any specific hairstyle: “Helderberg College students are expected to develop a personal philosophy of dress and grooming that exhibits simplicity and cultural refinement and eschews that which draws undue attention to oneself.” (It should be noted that considerable time is spent detailing the specifics of “modest” and “appropriate”.)
One thing is certain that the rules definitely portrays a particular cultural slant. They would be completely irrelevant on the mixed campus that now forms Helderberg. Perhaps I need to take some photos of the hairstyles on campus today and post them on the blog. (If you have some, please send them to me.)