116. Nineteenth-Century Hazing


Hazing was a part of Princeton student life since the earliest days of the College of New Jersey, though the practice had multiple names and forms over the years.  Sophomores taught freshmen their place in the social hierarchy by forcing them to perform degrading acts, head shaving and occasional physical abuse.  During a snowball fight in 1892, three freshmen from the class of 1895 (left to right, Darwin James, John Poe and Arthur Wheeler) suffered serious injuries.  By the twentieth century, hazing was technically forbidden, though the nearly identical practice of “horsing” rose in its place.  It was not until the 1960s that the last forms of restriction on freshmen behavior were lifted.