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Where the Girls Are: Auburn University, 1967

"They're all here—from coast-to-coast, campus-to-campus, categorized, analyzed and pre-tested for easy snowing."

At least in spirit, the rAUnchy expose on Auburn’s dating/sex scene that aired on MTV last week is nothing new. Though obviously addressed less explicitly, the nitty gritty of campus courtship was a frequent subject of college humor publications back in the more delicate day, Where The Girls Are being a perfect example. Written in 1965 (and updated in 1967) by the staff of Princeton’s student newspaper, the book claimed to be “the greatest, most complete guide to academic female fauna ever,” Auburn’s included. Here’s what they had to say about Auburn women:

One of the most exciting events on the Auburn campus each year is the Annual Freshman Cake Race in which the current crop of fuzzy-cheeked uninitiates chase the speeding car of that loveliest of cheesecakes, Miss Auburn. The winner receives a kiss from the glowing miss and, even better, a cake. In his three remaining years at Auburn, he may eat many more cakes but the kiss may be his last. For the men outnumber the women four to one (3,500 coeds), and of the latter group, one-third get married before Graduation and one half are already dating a steady.

Because Auburn women are predominately good looking, even the leftovers are tasty. But again, that freshman could still be thwarted in his efforts to make the scene: Almost all Auburn social affairs are organized, populous “functions,” and college rules hold that no Tiger date can drink at any time in any place. Nor will she want to since most Auburn women (in contrast with U. of Alabama women) boast a Southern Puritan upbringing more suitable for church than party attendance. A date at Auburn usually centers around an athletic event (the Georgia Tech football game is the wildest) and moves quickly to a drive-in, fraternity party or formal dance. Though there is no specific student hangout, somehow Tigers and their drawling dates find their ways to various eating spots in town, there to succumb to the strains (and stresses) of the ubiquitous jukebox. Far and away the most popular of campus activities is the fraternity party, where coeds can dance the night away without fear of suffering the awful fate of Miss Auburn on Cake Race Day.

But what is most disturbing about Auburn is that out of 12,500 students, no one is dissatisfied with its social life, conventional and inaccessible as it may be. Perhaps this is because Auburn is best known for its raucous school spirit, a holdover from high school that is taken very seriously by undergraduates, and the warm reality that serves many as a substitute for a cold date. In short, Miss Auburn’s thank-you-kindly gesture is representative of a campus-wide social malaise: It is cold, clammy, probably misplaced—and a once-in-a lifetime proposition at that.

Tacked on at the end were Auburn’s decidedly unliberated—coeds couldn’t drink regardless of age, men only allowed in dorm rooms to move furniture—”Rules and Hours,” some of the strictest in the book, some of the strictest in the country.

Related: Playboy loved its first visit to Auburn in 1981.

Keep Reading:

* Young Jay Jacobs
* SHAKE IT, SHUG!
* That time they burned the Glom
* Auburn’s 1960 cheesecake schedule
* I think of Kurt Crain
Smithsonian Magazine photographs kid in Auburn hat at Texas prom
Auburn’s Legend of Zelda
Pat Sullivan orders a “Wishbone T” on Bob Hope
Former Nitro Girl recalls time at Auburn

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About Jeremy Henderson

Jeremy Henderson is the editor of The War Eagle Reader and co-host of Rich and Jeremy in the Mornings on Wings 94.3 FM in Auburn. Follow him on Twitter: @wareaglereader / @jerthoughts / @RichandJeremy

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