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Campus life at University of Florida

By
DAVID L. LANGFORD

GAINESVILLE, Fla., May 16, 1971 (UPI) -- A man over 30 instinctively wants to bolt and run when he's sitting in a college girl's dormitory room and someone raps on the door.

But this is "Gator Country" where girls wear bikini tops and hot pants to class and entertain boys in their rooms. The boys smoke pot on the rooftops and invent games like "seven minutes in heaven."

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Permissive? You bet your bippy.

"Oh, hi! Says a barefoot girl in cutoff jeans, not the least nonplussed to find a man at her door in Jennings Hall. She had been advised that her visitor was coming to observe modern day student activities.

Unblinking, she asks, "You want to know something about sex and drugs and stuff?''

So began a one-day short course on the student life style at the University of Florida, a school given top marks by a national magazine a couple of years ago as a fun place to learn.

The study ended long after midnight at a topless bar called "Dub's," where on Thursday night the place is packed for a miniskirt contest. That's when the coeds, and other amateurs, often strip to their panties for applause and a prize.

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The extracurricular activities on Florida's public university campuses from Pensacola to Miami came under scrutiny recently when the Board of Regents, which governs the state universities, voted to abolish the "open house" policy which permits boys and girls to visit each others' dorm rooms.

The regents voted to ban all visitation privileges after the end of the current quarter in June, but left the door open for a compromise later.

Are visiting privileges sometimes abused? Well, one coed reported that her dorm mate asked her to move out for a few days so the roommate could play host to a visiting boyfriend.

H.C. Riker, director of housing at the university, said the open house policy is designed for "informal social activities and study dates." Mixed visiting is only allowed by written permission from the student's parents and a majority vote of the students on a particular dormitory floor.

But the rules don't apply off campus, and that's where much of the action is. A boy rents an apartment and his girlfriend moves in. Often several of each sex will share a frame house in a cheap rent district known as the "ghetto."

On party nights at one fraternity house, youths can be seen perched on the roof in rows like pigeons, listening to the band on the patio below, because there's a $25 fine for smoking marijuana in the rooms.

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When a girl has a date, the boy often will furnish the pot, and maybe a bottle of apple wine, but it is not likely he will take the girl to dinner. A favorite spot, instead, is the "Devil's Mill Hopper," a woodland sinkhole out in the country with a waterfall and nice sloping banks for "goofing around."

Sometimes the activity is indoors.

A sorority girl, dressed to the teeth in heels and hose, was getting bored recently at an off-campus party. A group of football players had invited over some girls, mostly freshmen in bells and jeans.

To get things going, the sorority girl suggested playing "seven minutes to heaven," a variation of spin the bottle that caused some of the coeds to promptly leave. Some stayed, however, and the girl who suggested the game was the first to pair off for a bedroom.

"Sex is just no big thing, said Jim Roarck, a senior from Dunedin who works behind the bar at a campus beer parlor. "There's plenty all around."

The same could be said of drugs, according to Barbara Eisenstadt, a 23-year-old reformed user who helped organize the "Corner Drug Store," a rap house near the campus.

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"When I first came to the university five years ago, I only knew of four people who used marijuana," Miss Eisenstadt said. "Now I would say there are only four kids out of every 20 who haven't at least tried it."

A research study by Florida Atlantic University at Boca Raton a year ago reported that 42,000 of the 211,000 students on Florida campuses were "regular users" of marijuana. The study showed that 26.9 per cent of the college students had smoked pot at least once.

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