UDMercy Freshmen-Some rules and regulations for Freshmen in past years


Typical faces of the class of ’42

Freshmen today don’t know how lucky they are that they don’t have to put up with some of the restrictions that past UD freshmen had to follow. The most noticeable was the rule that they had to wear these caps (tams for girls) or “pots” as they were sometimes called, whenever they were on campus. This tradition was around from the early 1900′s until about 1960.


The rules may have changed over the years, for example the 1930 freshman could “NOT smoke cigarettes, cigars or regular pipes on campus. Smoke only corn-cob pipes.” From a 1942 list, “A girl freshman can’t wear rouge or lipstick on campus.”


Violators of the freshman code were given tickets by sophomores. The freshman could then plead his case before a kangaroo court where some kind of punishment was meted out. Hazing was not allowed, but the punishment was usually something humorous like wearing all clothing backward during class or wearing a head bandage and a sign: “I Talked Back to a Sophomore.”

If there were any freshman rules today, there is probably at least one that still is in effect today as it was back in the early college days: “STUDY their lessons.” A warm welcome to ALL new students!

Pat Higo, Archives and Special Collections Librarian