Skip to main content

Clubs and Halls (1870-1920s)

Women's Residence Hall cornerstone ceremony


When the university opened in 1870 as the Indiana State Normal School, students boarded in local houses, establishing clubs to jointly pay for housing.  In the beginning, the school acted as caretaker of student's health and morality, insisting students live in only pre-approved housing. Concerned especially with men and women's interaction, the school discouraged unmarried women living in the same building as men.  

Indiana State University grew from one building to include five main building by the end of the 1920s, including one dormitory. The large number of female students and the concern for women's welfare led ISU to build the Women's Residence Hall in 1925.  Men would not receive a dormitory until over ten years later in 1937.

With the addition of residence halls, the school was able to expand to non-local students.  Initial Administrative demands that all students stay in an accepted boarding house or return home every night, restricted non-local students unable to find accomodation.  Residence halls fueled an even greater increase in student attendance at ISU. 

Clubs and Halls (1870-1920s)