Rules for Slimes, 1932

Sophomore hazing of freshmen went on for a very long time at Rice, more intense in some eras than in others. In the 1930s most of the hazing seems to have taken place in public, which moderated it significantly. But it was still just preposterous. These rules are both arbitrary and goofy as hell. I don’t know how I would have gotten through freshman year without my knickers.

And here’s a photo of slimes in the cloisters from 1934. They seem to be holding up ok under the dignity-sapping regime of the sophomores.


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14 Responses to Rules for Slimes, 1932

  1. Deborah Gronke Bennett says:

    Melissa: any ideas on how the term “slime” came to be used for freshmen?

    • Melissa Kean says:

      If I recall correctly, it comes from the notion that freshmen were just crawling out of the primordial ooze and hence covered with slime. I’m not totally sure when it was coined, but it was very early.

  2. Well Melissa, 1932 was my parents’ freshman year at Rice so I guess they were “enjoying” those slime rules. Actually, when I was a slime in 1958, many of those rules were still in place and others had been adopted as well.

  3. tom murrah says:

    Melissa: So, what you are describing are situations not much different
    from the age-old stories of “hazing at A&M” or other such institutions….right?
    I’m amazed. I’d never imagined that A&M and Rice would have such ties
    historically as these. Thanks for all the valuable information. The terminolgy
    might be different from moment to moment…….but, the mission was: Get those freshmen “with the program.” I’ll never tell. Thanks for all your work.

    • Melissa Kean says:

      Yes, it’s essentially about getting people into line. I’m afraid I wouldn’t have done too well under these circumstances. I would have been the one walking on the grass in my knickers while smoking a forbidden pipe.

  4. I’m curious as to when it fell out of favor. Probably those free-wheeling, wild, late 60s. Or maybe about the time women moved on campus and blacks were admitted. I’m surprised that there wasn’t any rule about slimes staying out of ice machines…

    • Pat Campbell says:

      Anecdotal evidence only: when the first class paying tuition (Fall 1965) entered, it put up with the hazing by the last of the “free” classes from the traditional start of school to the Texas game in October. The following year – at least in Baker – the now sophomore class elected to not impose the “guidance” rules on the freshmen and hazing ended.

  5. Mike Ross says:

    Love the bonus shot of Baker Commons (next to The Tower’s second-level balcony).

  6. Richard Schafer says:

    I’m curious about the back side. All I’ve managed to read is “And We Say Unto You Freshman, Get Your Green Ties”–is the back side an ad for someone selling the slime regalia?

    • Melissa Kean says:

      I’m curious about the back side too, but the paper is glued into a scrapbook and there’s no way to get it off without totally destroying it. Such are the travails of an archivist.

  7. James says:

    Seeing the pictures reminded me of the freshman initiation in high school, I’m sure there are many out there that probably went thru the same thing at their school. It lasted one day and we had our faces painted with lipstick, wore feed sacks , onions and garlic around our neck and at the end of the day marched down main street pulling the seniors in wagons. It was a fun day except for the onions and garlic. And that was in 1960. Today I think they would call it hazing.

  8. Bob G says:

    Good Lord. I haven’t seen anyone wearing “dinks” since ’67

  9. Pingback: “By Order of the Sophomore Class,” 1916 | Rice History Corner

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