Ye Olde Student Life: From the newspaper to Tinder

The “Spice” section of TSL in 1941.

In this edition of Ye Olde Student Life, which looks at articles and advertisements from past decades of TSL, we’re talking about the eternal college experience — dating.

The Pomona Daily column in February 1941, printed a few weeks after Valentine’s Day, included a “Spice” column with flashy updates of 20 ladies’ relationship status. Although I’ve been single for my entire life and have zero expertise in romance, I can still write about it, right?

Pomona College used to have a large partying fraternity. This Kappa Delta “superman” Hugh Ralston must have been a real stud. I wonder what partying was like in the early 40s; beer pong was not yet a thing.

Onto another point: Keeping a public record of relationship statuses seemed to be casual in the 40s. Maybe it’s because there were fewer people, and they actually got to know each other without spending six hours a day on small black boxes. Either way, it would be very interesting to know the feelings of the aforementioned people and learn whether they were embarrassed, ashamed or did not care.

In some ways, things in Claremont are the same today — dating hasn’t gone away. But our modern sex culture, with hookups and Tinder, would probably seem blasphemous to people in the past. And people today probably cannot imagine a world where private information like one’s relationship status is printed.

I look forward to learning more about the Claremont Colleges’ community of the past, and I hope this column can be a place where we can explore TSLs of old together.

Michael He PO ’22 constantly fights his urge to slack off and procrastinate, but once in a while does something productive and nice. Talk to him!

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