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First women enrolling at Siena among highlights of September ’69 (with photos)

First women enrolling at Siena among highlights of September ’69 (with photos)

Sharon Tribley studied — and was studied — during her first day at Siena College. It was Tuesday, Se
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Sharon Tribley studied — and was studied — during her first day at Siena College.

It was Tuesday, Sept. 9, 1969, the first day of classes at the Franciscan college in Loudonville. For the first time, women were part of the classroom experience. Seventeen female students joined 1,500 guys on campus, and girls knew they were being looked over.

“I don’t think they like having girls in class that much,” said Tribley, who lived in Cohoes and had transferred to Siena as a junior. “I’m making believe I’m one of the crowd — it’s the only way to deal with the problem.”

Both men and women felt a little funny about the whole scene during that first day.

“Being accepted is a real problem,” Janet McCarthy of Albany told reporter Dom Yezzi of the Schenectady Gazette. “No one knows what to think of us, and it will take a while to adjust to the situation.”

Some guys didn’t like the idea of extra competition. But others liked the concept. Joseph Hilton of Hudson wore pants — and not blue jeans — for his new classmates. And he figured he’d be shaving every day.

In other news from September 1969, the start of Jewish holy days was observed at Temple Gates of Heaven and Congregation Beth Israel. And Pastors Eugene Dix and Carl B. Taylor — of Refreshing Spring and Friendship Baptist churches, respectively — participated in activities away from the pulpit.

With autumn on the way, summer insects were fading. Schenectady was trying to eliminate one of the sloppier bugs — the litterbug — and city workers installed signs to spread the word.

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