Dancing Through the Great Depression

Student Organizations

fraternity hazzing
A fraternity pledge
assumes the position.
Greeks had only recently been allowed back on campus. In 1897 the state legislature banned Greek letter fraternities from all state colleges and universities, due to accusations that they undermined the honor system and set themselves up as social and cultural superiors. The ban lasted until 1927, although some fraternities went underground and remained on campus under different names.
carolina traditions, 1939
Carolina traditions as
listed in the 1936 student handbook
Though never sanctioned by the University, hazing was widespread in the 1930s, particularly by seniors targeting freshmen. Barefoot Day was an annual custom, begun in 1929, that concluded the hazing. Freshmen were required to wear their beanies or “rat caps” every day until Barefoot Day in April. On that day, male freshmen were required to spend the day without shoes or socks. The hazing of freshmen also included paddling and following whatever other instructions or tasks the seniors gave them.
football sponsor with gamecock
Football sponsor with gamecock.
Although Carolina did not have a Homecoming Queen until 1941, the students did elect a May Queen every spring. Female students were also selected to grace the beauty section of the yearbook, or to be ‘sponsors’ for the various athletic teams or student organizations. Usually, the sponsors were the girlfriends or sisters of the team caption or organization president.
Dorm room band. The student in the center is playing percussion on a trash can.
Dorm room band.
The student in the center is
playing percussion on a trash can.
Other organizations provided outlets for students’ creativity. They included the University Band, which was established in the 1920s, the University Players theatre troupe, and the Glee Club. Students also entertained themselves with less formal musical gatherings, such as listening to record players or forming their own impromptu dorm room band. The oldest student organizations, the Clariosophic and Euphradian Literary Societies (debating societies established in 1806) continued to be popular.
Kappa Sigma Kappa was one of the organizations that participated in the sidewalk project.
Kappa Sigma Kappa was one of
the organizations that participated in the
sidewalk project.
In 1931, students and faculty were weary of trudging through the mud on rainy days, but the state legislature would not provide funding for sidewalks on campus. English professor Havilah Babcock helped organize students into a campaign to pave the walkways on the Horseshoe. The students conducted fundraisers to purchase bricks, and enlisted the aid of a local company to provide brick masons to teach the students how to lay bricks and to supervise their work. Students who participated were excused from classes. The results are the brick sidewalks up each side of the Horseshoe. The letters in white designate the initials of the participating student organizations, as well as those of Havilah Babcock and faculty member George A. Wauchope.


 

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