During the early 1900s, hazing of freshmen was gradually replaced by milder ways of keeping the new boys aware of their low status on campus.  Freshmen caps, which first year men were required to wear at all times, were introduced in 1920.  The caps had to be worn all year long unless the freshman were victorious in the sophomore-freshmen day contest, usually consisting of a football game or other athletic contests held in the Fall.

In 1921, the student body voted to abolish hazing and in 1923 the Freshmen Court of Control was established.  This organization, consisting of eight upperclassmen, composed a list of rules and regulations to govern the freshmen’s behavior.  Any freshman suspected of violating these rules was tried, and if found guilty, punished by additional restrictions. The student government in 1968-69 abolished the Court of Control and the use of freshman caps.

newspaper headlineHeadline from December 1977 Davidsonian article
documenting instance of freshmen revolt against hazing in 1903.
newspaper headlineHeadline from December 1921 Davidsonian documenting
the suspension of 27 sophomores by President Martin for excessive hazing.
newspaper headlineHeadline of 1923 Davidsonian announcing the decision
to abolish hazing at Davidson College
court of controlImage of the Court of Control which was established
by the SGA after hazing was abolished

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Author: Dustin Edge
Date: May 2001

Cite as: Edge, Dustin. “Hazing” Davidson Encyclopedia May 2001 <http://libraries.davidson.edu/archives/encyclopedia/hazing/>

Related Entries: Freshman Beanies and Pins

Wildcat Handbook and Freshman Regulations

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