History of the Campuses and Buildings of the University of Rochester
United States Hotel Prince Street Campus Eastman School of Music Medical Center River Campus Mid-Campus South Campus Mt. Hope Campus Graduate, Family and Veteran Housing Central Utilities Other Off-Site Buildings
Prince Street Campus Student Army Training Corps Barracks


Student Army Training Corps Barracks, just south of Carnegie Hall

The University contracted to participate in the Student Army Training Corps in 1918, which had about 252 soldiers.   Kendrick Hall was transformed into a barracks for 60 men and another 192 were housed in a temporary wooden barracks built between Carnegie Hall and the Alumni Gym. The barracks was completed just before the end of the war on November 11, and was torn down shortly thereafter.


References
1918 "No Decision Yet on University Barracks," Democrat and Chronicle, September 10, 1918, Page 17.

1918 "Ground Broken for New Barracks at University," Democrat and Chronicle, September 29, 1918, Page 33.

1918 "Latest addition to group of university buildings," Democrat and Chronicle, October 8, 1918, Page 18.
New barracks for the Students' Army Training Corps.

1918 "College Students' Army Corps Under Quarantine, Men Now Fully Enlisted," Democrat and Chronicle, October 15, 1918, Page 19.
An addition to the barracks is being constructed and the Alumni gymnasium is being used as temporary sleeping quarters for about eighty men.

1919 "For Sale," Democrat and Chronicle, January 26, 1919, Page 8.
Material from University barracks.

1919 "University of Rochester in the World War," by President Rush Rhees, from Report of the President to the Board of Trustees, June 5, 1919

1919 Report of the President and the Treasurer of the University of Rochester, June 5, 1919
Page 9:  For the housing of the soldiers we found it necessary to transform Kendrick Hall into a  barracks for 60 men, and to build a temporary wooden barracks to accommodate 192 more. This temporary barracks with its toilet and wash-room annex was built at a  cost of $11,991.71. To provide mess hall and kitchen facilities the basement of Kendrick Hall was fitted up as a mess hall, and a kitchen adequate to provide quick service for 253 soldiers was constructed connecting with this mess hall. This new construction and equipment cost $11,488.35.
The cost of providing housing for the men, including rental for Kendrick Hall at our published rates, less salvage on the temporary buildings, was met by the payment of $12,296.07. T:he cost of providing subsistence, including the cost of the mess hall and kitchen, less $5,000 allowance for future use of the equipment which is retained by the University, was met by the payment of $16,126.43. The cost of instruction was met by the payment of $15,768.19. These payments were in accordance with the contract entered into between the University and the Committee on Education and Special Training of the War Department.

1977 History of the University of Rochester, by Arthur J. May (on-line version with footnotes)
Chapter 17, Sunshine and Shadow
In the spring and early summer of 1918 the military situation of the opponents of the Central Powers took on a dark and forbidding character. More troops from America were imperatively needed and it looked for a while as though conscription would virtually empty college halls of men. Happily, that dour prospect was obviated by a scheme for a Students Army Training Corps (S.A.T.C.), worked out by the War Department Committee on Education and Special Training.
As eventually fashioned, the program, which was intended to give basic training to candidates for officers' schools and to technical experts, permitted physically fit youths eighteen years and older "by voluntary induction and draft" to attend colleges of their choice. Campuses would be transformed -- and in fact were -- into camps under army control; college faculties and facilities would be fully drawn into the national service -- and in fact were. The federal government would finance tuition charges, board and lodging, uniforms and equipment, and the standard pay of private soldiers--thirty dollars a month. If performance was satisfactory, the citizen-soldier would pass on to regular officers' camps for finishing touches on his training.
Briefing on the S.A.T.C. was given Rhees and Fauver, along with their prototypes from institutions in the eastern section of the country, at Plattsburg, New York. Temporary two-story wooden barracks capable of housing 200 men were hastily thrown up to the north of the Alumni Gymnasium, and as many as sixty more could be quartered (and were) in Kendrick Hall, to which improvised an mess hall with kitchen equipment was attached. Headquarters of the outfit were set up in the Carnegie Building, and there military equipment and supplies were stored.
Launched on October 1, 1918, the Rochester S.A.T.C. enrolled 249 men, together with four naval reservists on detached service who had little more to do than report daily to the corps commander. In charge was a Californian, Captain Ben Alexander (who was also responsible for a parallel unit at Hobart College), flanked by four second lieutenants, college undergraduates themselves with the dew of quick training at the Plattsburg officers' camp still wet on their bright new uniforms. The U. of R. contingent was split into three companies with a complement of sergeants and corporals picked from the corps. Reveille sounded at 6:30 in the morning, taps at 10 p.m., with rigorous routine and constant supervision in between. It was obligatory for the S.A.T.C. men to remain within the campus enclosure and to wear army uniforms at all times. A proposal to put the teaching personnel into uniform attracted some support in Washington, but was not implemented.
While authorities in the War Department largely prescribed the S.A.T.C. curriculum, issuing descriptive circulars on the content of courses, considerable latitude for peacetime courses was permitted. Drill and army gymnastics consumed eleven hours weekly, lectures and recitations on military subjects fourteen, and about forty hours more were devoted to other kinds of learning. Fundamental was a course on "war issues," calculated to make the stakes of the herculean struggle living realities and to resolve questions in the minds of the student soldiers. Disinterest in book learning was corrected by an order making academic delinquencies a military offense. At night, Sibley Hall was reserved for study by the S.A.T.C. exclusively and a "Y" hut was fashioned in the Gymnasium, undergraduates from the women's college acting as hostesses.
Two weeks after Germany capitulated on November 11, 1918, Washington ordered, with a suddenness equaled only by the signing of the armistice, the demobilization of the S.A.T.C., and by early December the mustering out process was completed. A few men had been sent from Rochester to an infantry officers' school at Camp Lee, Virginia.
It is unnecessary to dismiss the S.A.T.C. as a "Sad and Terrible Calamity," in undergraduate parlance, though it is nonetheless true that there was not enough time to iron out the kinks in the program and a serious epidemic of influenza in October intensified confusion. Collisions between the military command and the teachers were remarkably rare. ''A jolting experience," Rhees called the S.A.T.C. months, which influenced him to oppose seeking a Reserve Officers Training Corps for the college.
By way of assisting professional wreckers, undergraduates ripped lumber from the S.A.T.C. barracks, raised a fence around the Anderson statue, and boarded up the Prince Street gate. As for the improvised S.A.T.C. mess facilities, the administration decided that they would be kept for noontime meals, if the patronage warranted--which it did not. If any doubts lingered that the U. of R. had returned to a condition resembling "normalcy," they were dispelled by the reappearance of class banquets; Freshmen held their affair on a boat with the officers of the class of 1921 as captive yet very welcome guests.


2021 Morris A. Pierce