Thursday, May 19, 2011

Freshman Hazing

Nowadays hazing is something people associate with fraternities and sororities, but for many years hazing of freshman by the upperclassmen was an accepted part of academic life at most colleges, including Brockport. It was felt to be a fun way to introduce students to the life of the school, help break the ice and so forth. Accounts of it at Brockport go back as early as the 1920s, and it continued into the 1960s.

The photo here is from the freshman hazing of 1962, outside Lathrop, which was the student union then.  According to the Stylus article this photo accompanied, "Freshman Hazing" was also known as "Student Disorientation Week!" The week included various events and rituals, for example a Kangaroo Court, and special hats for the freshman, the "beanies."

As the Stylus related it, "Answering to the gleeful calls of 'Button Frosh,' and 'Ellsworth Frosh,' this year's crop of smiling freshman got down on their knees, bowed towards the town's telephone tower, pushed pencils along the sidewalk, sang frosh-praising songs..."

There were dances too, including a "Get Acquainted Dance" at which a freshman girl won the Limbo dance contest!

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