Note and Comment.
"In 1882 an organization was perfected in Boston of the alumnae resident in the East of the thirteen leading co-educational and women's colleges, and it now enrolls 450 members. In 1883 a similar association was formed in Chicago of Western alumnae; its present membership being eighty. Branch organizations have been established in all the leading cities East and West, where local meetings are held in addition to the annual meetings of the parent organizations. It is believed that these two societies fairly represent the aims of the college women of this country.
One purpose of the associations has been to investigate all questions affecting the higher education of women, and by scientific methods to enforce the theories of those advocating such education. The two objections most frequently urged against the advanced training of women are, first, that they are physically incapable of it; and, second, that it will be detrimental to the best interests of society by withdrawing women from domestic life. The first subject undertaken by the Eastern Association was an inquiry into the effect of collegiate education upon the physical condition of women. Elaborate statistics were collected by the Association, and afterwards compiled by the Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics of Labor. It was the wish of those engaged in the work that these facts should speak for themselves, and the general attention that has been called to them, and the conclusions derived from them by the thinking public, they feel have not been unfavorable to the cause.
A glance of the work already accomplished and at what has been begun will indicate the thought of the Association in regard to the second objection made. Among the first plans of the Eastern Association was the formation of a club for the study of the various phases of household sanitary science. Practical investigation was made of the subject of drainage, plumbing, ventilation, etc., a bibliography was prepared, the results of the studies made were put in circulation, and material aid given to others outside of the society on this important but neglected subject. Careful study has also been made of the opportunities for work open to women who have others dependent on them for support, but who are prevented by domestic duties from seeking salaried positions. It is believed that important assistance has been given in the information collected and distributed concerning horticulture, silk-culture, bread making, fruit-canning, and other domestic professions. Again, it has been the aim of the Western Association to make inquiries concerning the training of women in household science. They have no desire to revolutionize society in any way, but they realize that hap-hazard ways often prevail in many households; that while much has been done to open new lines of work to women, but little has been done to improve her work in those fields that have always been considered by the opponents of higher education for women legitimately hers. Plans have therefore been perfected to make extended inquiries into the advantages afforded for the industrial education of women, to consider the practical results of what has already been done, and to devise the ways and means for giving further help on this much-vexed question."