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Freshmen hazing was an accepted part of life at Furman University throughout most of  the twentieth century. Freshmen, referred to as “rats,” were required to wear “rat caps” like the beanie pictured above. They were sometimes required to wear rat ears and signs around their necks identifying themselves as rats.  A ceremony called Rat Court was the culmination of the hazing, in which all freshmen were “sentenced” by sophomores to complete menial tasks such as scrubbing sidewalks with toothbrushes, or dress up in ridiculous outfits and required to participate in a beauty pageant.

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