The headline in The New York Times read “The Trouble with Angels is Averted at Vassar,’ summarizing the resolution of a difficult campus issue.  Modern technology—from the installation of a campus telephone system providing phones in all residence hall rooms to controlled identification card entrance to the halls and a campus-wide network of emergency “blue phones”—had made much of the traditional work done by “white angels,” the halls’ desk messengers, obsolete.

A proposal to eliminate the positions aroused fierce student and alumnae/i opposition, which led to a compromise, where the “angels,” recast as “messengers” were present in the halls from 2 pm until 11 pm for what Dean of Students DB Brown called “more administrative work.”   “I think it’s a good system,” medieval studies major Steven Miller ’97 told The Times, “the changes aren’t as drastically different as people conceived them to be.”  Paulette Roberts ’86, however, said in an interview the change “literally made me mournful.”