What on earth is going on here? I scanned these images a couple of years ago then, confused, forgot about them:
The answer is in the 1924 Campanile, which I am still looking at today. This was an actual fight, part of a nearly week long tussle between the new freshmen and their would-be sophomore overlords. The freshmen came out on top in the end, led by their clever class president William McVey:
It’s hard to know where to start with McVey, one of the most interesting characters of this era. He was both a football player and an artist while at Rice and he went on to a long and productive career as a sculptor. Here’s his entry in the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History (yes, that’s a real thing). I’ve got some good stuff about his pieces on the Rice campus which I will dig out for tomorrow.
Bonus: Fondren is closed as of this afternoon but I would like to say that we’ve been washing our hands in there since before it was cool.