This document is an excerpt from the June 1, 1972 Report of the President’s Commission on Athletics (Document JH, 56), written by President Roger Howell, Jr., directly after the end of the first full year of coeducation at Bowdoin. The President notes the importance of investigating women’s athletics in order to for the report to “have any validity.” Because the first year of women’s athletics had displayed low numbers, the College gave a survey to women to determine their interest in physical activity. The survey indicated that women did want to participate in athletics.
The President comments on the necessity for women to have not only mentors and teachers who were of the same gender, but also their own areas on campus such as locker rooms, field space, and their own equipment. Howell writes, “The Commission notes with approval the inclusion of funds in the 1972-73 budget for such equipment.” He also acknowledges that Bowdoin women need a voice on campus in groups that had a say in athletics. President Howell concludes by stating the importance of providing female athletes with the opportunity for and resources to shape their own program in ways conducive to them, not merely to men, and not to the administration.