Edwin L. (Edwin Luther) Green.

A history of the University of South Carolina online

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liberty obtained of a member of the Faculty, to bring any
spiritous liquor into the College; and if any student, by
bringing spiritous liquor into the College, shall be the occa-
sion of riotous conduct or tumult, he shall be liable to admo-
nition or suspension.

"10. No student shall make any festival entertainment in
the College, or in the town of Columbia, or take part in any
thing of the kind, without liberty previously obtained of the

"11. All the students are required to be particularly care-
ful respecting fire, especially when they are obliged to go
from their rooms ; or in carrying it through the entries ; and
they are strictly forbidden to smoke segars or pipes in any
part of the College, except their own rooms.

"12. If any students shall enter into a combination to
oppose the authority of the Faculty, or to impede the opera-
tion of the laws, they shall be punished by admonition, sus-
pension or expulsion; and if any student shall express a
determination not to submit to the laws, he shall be imme-


diately suspended from the College; and be reported to the

From time to time other regulations were added to these.
In the laws of 1848 is the general section : "The President,
with the assent of the Faculty, may request any parent or
guardian to remove any student from College, whose general
deportment and conduct is irregular, improper or offensive,
or likely to be of bad example to the students, and send him
away accordingly." Following this section is declaration of
suspension and report for expulsion against any student who
shall fight a duel or shall give or accept a challenge to fight
a duel, or carry a challenge to fight a duel, or act as a second
to those who shall give or accept a challenge.

Other offences and punishments are enumerated thus:

"205. If any student shall keep in his room, or within the
College, or in the town of Columbia, or in its vicinity, any
pistol, dirk, sword-cane, bowie knife, or other deadly weapon,
he shall be forthwith suspended and reported for expulsion.

"206. No student shall bring or use within the precincts
of the College, or bring within the same, any spiritous
liquors, dogs or arms or ammunition, nor shall any one keep
or hire any horse or mule, servant or servants, without per-
mission of the President ; and any student who shall violate
this rule shall be liable to admonition, suspension or

"208. No student shall be permitted to entertain company
in his room, and if any student shall refuse to open the door
of his room, when required by any one of the Faculty or a
Tutor, he shall be liable to admonition, suspension or

"209. No student, or students, shall be permitted to make
any ball or festive entertainment, except a ball at Commence-
ment ; nor shall any student attend or take part in any thing
of the kind without the special permission of the President.

"211. No student shall leave the town of Columbia, with-
out the permission of the President.

"212. No student, or students, shall make any bonfire,
or other like fire, within or near the College enclosure, nor


shall they throw or use any fire-ball or lighted torch in the
same, on pain of admonition, suspension or expulsion, at
the discretion of the Faculty.

"219. If any student shall be convicted of having or blow-
ing any horn or trumpet, or beating any drum, or of dis-
turbing the quiet of the institution by riding any horse or
mule within or near the College enclosure, or of making any
loud or unusual noise by any other means, within or about
the same, he shall be punished by admonition or suspension,
at the discretion of the Faculty.

"220. If any student shall, knowingly, receive, harbor or
entertain in his room, any other student who has been sus-
pended and ordered to leave the College by the Faculty, he
shall be liable to admonition or suspension, at the discretion
of the Faculty."

Combinations that were unlawful were particularly "not
to attend prayers, recitations or public worship, indicated
by the cry of 'hold back', 'no recitation', or other signal ; and
all who offend against this law shall be liable to admonition,
suspension or expulsion, at the discretion of the Faculty."

In proceeding against a student, the faculty did not in
1836, according to the published laws of that year, call on
one student for information against another, unless when
riotous or disorderly conduct took place in a student's room,
in which case he was bound to designate the true offender
or take the punishment himself. If it later appeared that a
student had permitted another to be punished for an offence
of which he himself was guilty he was to be expelled.

"If any riot," to give the words of the law (1836), "dis-
turbance, or any other misdemeanor shall take place in the
actual view of the Faculty or Tutors or any of them, or in
any particular tenement, the Faculty shall be at liberty to
call up the students, or any of them inhabiting that tenement,
or present at the time, to exculpate him or themselves from
having had any participation therein or confessing the same.

"If the Faculty or Tutors, or any of them, shall observe
several students in company together at the time and place
of an offence committed and shall not be able to designate


the actual offender, the Faculty may call on all or any of
the students seen together, and require each or any of them
to exculpate himself, or themselves, from any participation
or concurrence therein, and upon his or their refusal to do so,
he or they shall be regarded as the offenders and be pro-
ceeded against accordingly.

"Whenever the Faculty shall receive information from any
credible source furnishing them sufficient ground of reason-
able suspicion, that any student has been guilty of miscon-
duct, proper to be noticed, they shall call up the student
accused, and put him on his denial or exculpation, and if
he shall refuse to answer he shall be deemed guilty of the
offence, and proceeded against accordingly. If he shall deny
that he is guilty of the offence with which he is charged,
that shall be considered prima facie evidence of his innocence.
But if it shall afterwards appear, from satisfactory compe-
tent evidence that he was really guilty, he shall be suspended
and reported for expulsion, for having been guilty of false-

Under the caption of "Discipline" the day of the student
was arranged thus into hours: "During the session of the
College, the students shall convene in the College chapel at
sunrise in the morning to attend prayers; from thence they
shall retire either to attend recitations or lectures, or to
pursue their studies until they are summoned to breakfast;
at nine o'clock A. M., they shall return to their studies, and
continue in their rooms until twelve, unless summoned to
recitations or lectures; between twelve and two they shall
repair to dinner when summoned, and at two return to their
rooms and continue at study until five, and at five they shall
attend prayers at the chapel, and be dismissed. From the
beginning of the session until the first of May in each year,
the students shall all return to their rooms at the ringing of
the bell at seven o'clock in the evening, and continue at study
until half past nine, and remain in their rooms the remainder
of the night. From the first of May until the end of the ses-
sion, the students shall be dismissed from evening prayers
until nine o'clock at night, at which time they shall return


to their rooms and remain in for the night. On Saturdays
they shall be dismissed after morning recitations, until nine
o'clock at night."

"Regulations of Detail" in regard to devotional exercises
in the laws of 1853 fix the hours of morning prayer "on every
week-day from the first Monday of October to the first day of
April, 7 o'clock ; from the first day of April to the first day
of May, Gi/o o'clock, and from the first of May to the close
of the session, 6 o'clock." Students were expected to rise
half an hour before prayers. Recitations began at the close
of prayers. One recitation was held before breakfast. These
same laws regulate the study hour in the evening by amend-
ing that from April 1 to May 1 the study hour should be
from 7% to O 1 /^, and from May 1 to the end of the session
8 to 10, and on Saturdays and holidays, and when there was
no recitation the next morning, 9 was always the hour of
retirement; when the students must retire to their rooms
and remain in them for the night. The close of the study
hour was the hour of retirement.

Students were particularly called upon to observe the
hours of study and retirement, during which they could not
leave their rooms under any pretence, unless to obey the
officers or from necessity.

Students were forbidden to visit taverns, hotels, or places
of public amusement, without special permission first
obtained from the president. At one time the students were
excused from 11 a. m. to 5 p. m. during "race week." Visit-
ing grog or eating shops brought suspension or expulsion.
Smoking on the streets of Columbia was forbidden. Tobacco
in public rooms or in any lecture or recitation room was for-
bidden. Every student on entering the chapel, lecture room,
or the dining room was to be uncovered. He was to keep
his apartments clean; if not, they could be cleaned at his
expense. He was to obey implicitly all lawful commands
of his instructors and behave with deference and respect
toward them. Neatness and cleanliness in person and dress
and courteous conduct to his fellows were required of him.
No student was allowed to enter chapel or any apartment

15 H. U.


for recitation without being fully dressed, nor to lounge or
sit in an indecorous position, nor talk, nor in any manner
offend against the rules of propriety common among gentle-
men assembled for grave purposes. Students were to be
seated in chapel or recitation rooms and go from them in
such order as may be prescribed: the professors fixed the
order for their rooms, the president for chapel and college
hall (laws of 1853). Striking a servant and cruelty to ani-
mals were expressly forbidden (same laws). A regulation
of decorum of the same year prescribes that, "If any student
shall treat rudely or discourteously any stranger visiting the
College, or reading the inscription upon the monument, by
shouting 'Fresh' at him, or using any other offensive epithet,
such student shall be suspended or expelled according to
the aggravation of the case." Likewise, "Any student crying
'Fresh' or 'Eat' to any other student, or to the applicants for
College or any of them, or employing any other epithets to
annoy or tease them, shall be admonished or suspended at
the discretion of the Faculty."

The "Regulations of the Faculty," which were printed with
the bylaws of 1853, 1867, 1880, contain in the 1853 edition
this scale of punishments: "1. The general punishment
authorized by the laws under the name of Admonition, con-
sists of two degrees: the first and lowest is called by the
generic name, admonition : the second is called a warning.

"Three admonitions during a quarter amount to a warn-
ing, and three warnings to a suspension of two weeks.

"2. The following is the scale of punishments for unex-
cused absences from prayers and recitations: 1. For two
absences from prayers, one admonition. 2. For one absence
from a morning recitation, one admonition. 3. For one
absence from an eleven o'clock recitation, two admonitions.

"3. The following punishments are also inflicted for the
following disorders : 1. For participating in making a bon-
fire, shooting a rocket or exploding a bomb: suspension for
four months of the College session. 2. The shouting at a
stranger visiting the campus or reading the inscription on
the monument, three months' suspension. 3. For crying


'hold back', or endeavoring to create by any other cry, a
combination against attending prayers, recitation or public
worship, during a rain or at any other time, three months'
suspension. These punishments may be increased or miti-
gated, by aggravated or extenuating circumstances in each
particular case: but they are the ordinary penalties for the
offence named. 4. In case of a bon-fire or unauthorized fire-
works, or illumination, any student crying fire, sounding an
alarm, leaving his room, going to the fire, or being seen at it,
going into the College yard, or assembling on account of
such bon-fire, shall be deemed aiding and abetting such dis-
order, and may be punished accordingly. 5. Students enter-
ing the chapel after the reading of the Scriptures has begun,
shall be liable to an admonition. 6. The introduction of intox-
icating liquor into the campus or into any of the rooms shall
be visited with suspension."

No class or other meeting of the students could be held
without the permission of the president, and for specified
purposes. Such meetings held without permission were
treated as unlawful combinations. No society for debating
or for any other purpose could be formed in the College until
a copy of its constitution and all its rules had been submitted
to the president and had received his sanction. He was also
to be kept informed of any change (Laws of 1853).

The faculty assigned to each professor a portion of the
tenements occupied by students, which it was his duty to
visit at least once a day and as much oftener as the president
should direct, and report to the faculty at their weekly
meeting the condition of the rooms, entries, stair-cases, par-
ticularly with reference to cleanliness. The professors were
also to note all absences, irregularities and disorders, which
they may detect in their visitations. The professor was to
indicate his desire to enter a room by rapping at the door,
and if the door was not opened, he could use the force
required to open it, and the damages that might thus accrue
to the room were to be made good by those who were found
in the room at the time. Any student's room found in a


state of uncleanliness might be cleaned at the student's

Immediately after commencement the faculty declared all
rooms vacant and proceeded at once to assign them in the
order of the classes, beginning with the seniors. No student
could be removed from the room assigned him except at his
own request, or for disorderly conduct. To change his room,
he must have permission of the president. The occupants of
it had to make good any damage to it, unless they could show
that they were not to blame. They could not make alterations
without authority of the faculty. All students were required
to room in the buildings of the institution, except those who
resided in Columbia, or its immediate vicinity ; or in cases of
sickness, when the physician certified that it was necessary
that the student lodge outside. Any student who mutilated,
injured or destroyed "his own room, or any of the College
buildings, or the fences, out-buildings, or fixtures belonging
to the College" had to pay the expense of repair, and if he
did not pay by the first of the next quarter ensuing, he was
to be suspended until he did pay.

Two students have always been assigned to each room;
one student occupied a room only at the times when the
buildings were not full. During President Preston's admin-
istration more than two occupants were placed in a room
until other dormitories could be built. At the present there
is not sufficient dormitory space, so that more than two are
assigned to many rooms.

During the first forty years of the life of the institution
the students wore a uniform. The first two editions of the
laws require that, "The students shall be distinguished by
wearing short hair, blue coats, and round hats, in ordinary.
The senior class shall also wear black gowns when convened
for the purpose of performing college exercises or duties."
An old picture of the College about the year 1820 represents
the students with high hats, short waisted coats with long
tails and tight trousers. At the time of the reorganization
in 1835 it was enacted that, "The dress of the students shall
be uniform and plain, and the cloth, when that is prescribed,


shall not exceed in value seven dollars per yard. The coat
shall be of dark grey cloth, single breasted, with a standing
collar, trimmed with black braid, the skirts shall be of mod-
erate length with pocket flaps, and black covered buttons;
the waistcoat shall be white or black, and single breasted
with a standing collar ; the pantaloons shall be of cloth, cassi-
mere or cassinet, of a dark grey colour, and of the usual
form. In warm weather brown cotton or linen may be sub-
stituted. The neck-cloth shall be plain black, and the hat
round and black. No ornaments shall be allowed, but in
case of mourning the usual badges may be worn.

"The uniform thus prescribed shall be strictly enforced,
and shall be worn on all occasions, both within the College
enclosure and within the town of Columbia and its vicinity,
when the student appears out of his rooms, except only that
in warm weather he may wear within the College enclosure
such light coat as the Faculty may approve. The form of
the dress in each article shall conform to a model to be pro-
vided under the direction of the Faculty, and kept by the

This regulation remained in force only a few years. By
1840 it was not strictly observed, although it was repeated,
and the faculty was directed to have it enforced. The laws
of 1848 make no reference to a uniform.

The first laws arrange the sessions and vacations thus:
"The students shall convene on the first Monday of October,
and shall continue in session until the third Monday in July ;
from which day, until the first day in October, there shall
be a vacation; and there shall be no other vacation in the
year, except a few days at such times as the president shall
think proper. And the faculty shall be authorized to assign
to the students such exercises or studies for the vacation, as
may be suitable to their standing in their respective classes,
and on which the students shall be examined on their return
to college: But any student who has usually resided in
Charleston during the summer, and may chuse to continue
to do so, shall be allowed, on the application of his parents or
guardian for that purpose to the faculty, to leave the college


on the fourth Monday in June, and return on the said first
Monday in October., Provided, That the said student pursue
such studies during the said vacation as shall be prescribed
by the faculty, and shall be found sufficiently proficient
therein on examination, to entitle him to a readmission to his
class at the end of the said vacation." By the year 1835
the vacation was began after the first day of July. This
remained the custom until 1880, when a slight change was
made in the termination "on the last of June." The laws of
1883 say that, "There shall be but one session in each year,
which shall commence on the first Tuesday in January and
end on the third Wednesday in December", endeavoring to
go back to the ante-bellum year. The session was at the same
time divided into two terms, the spring term ending on the
third Wednesday in June, the fall term beginning on the
third Tuesday in September, so that the institution opened
on the prescribed day in September and closed on the pre-
scribed Wednesday in June. Alterations have been made
from time to time since the South Carolina College was
reconstituted in 1883 ; these have, however, been very slight.

The session of the ante-bellum college was certainly after
1835 divided into three quarters, the first commencing on
the first Monday of October, the second on the first day of
January, the third on the first day of April. With the uni-
versity in 1866 there came two terms, one beginning on
October 1, the other on February 15. Almost the same
division has been observed from that time except that since
1910 the second term had been started nearer the first of

The fiscal year has always begun with January 1. The
professors dated their entrance on duties from that day
until the establishment of the College of Agriculture and
Mechanics in 1880 ; since then the date of entrance on duty
has been the opening of the session, or October 1.

Vacation in summer varied as indicated above in the para-
graph on the session. A week's holiday at Christmas was
first granted in 1807. The length of the holiday varied : the
laws of 1848 fix it at three days; those of 1853 say "The


Christmas holidays shall extend from the second Monday of
December to the first Monday of January." At present it is
ten days by act of legislature ; the laws of the first university
gave only the one day of Christmas. These same laws
announced another holiday on Good Friday. Occasional
holidays were obtained for various reasons. From May Day
festivities there arose the custom of giving a "Spring Holi-
day", which is still continued: this holiday seems to have
started some years before 1860. After the foundation of the
State Fair in Columbia in the 50's it was found necessary to
give a holiday, one or two days, owing to the distraction of
the week : two days have long been given, although from the
first the entire week had been almost useless for work.
Calhoun's birthday was observed in the 50's. The birthdays
of Lee and Washington are also holidays, the last from a
very early period; on this occasion the students were for
many years assembled in the chapel to listen to an address
on General Washington. During the May exhibitions in the
old college suspensions of exercises took place.

During the life of the old college the students were con-
vened at sunrise in the chapel to attend prayers, and again
at five o'clock in the afternoon at the close of recitations.
The laws of 1853 fix the morning hour for prayers at 7 from
the first Monday in October to the first day of April ; from
the first day of April to the first day of May, 6.30; from
May 1 to the end of the session at 6. All students were
expected to rise half an hour before prayers in order to be
ready for them. Evening prayers were held throughout the
session at 5. After 1865 the morning hours were 7 from the
opening of the session to April 1, and 6 for the remainder of
the session ; evening prayers were at 5. After 1880 the even-
ing prayers were dropped ; the hour for the morning prayers
were fixed by the faculty, apparently at 8.40, which remained
the hour, except from 1884 to 1890, when it was at 9. In
the spring of 1911 the hour 9.45 for morning prayers was
tried and found so satisfactory that it has been retained.*

'Changed in 1914 to 10:30.


"On every Sunday, during each session, all the students
shall attend public worship in the College chapel twice in the
day, if service be so often performed;" so said the trustees
in 1807 : they had already made arrangements that the presi-
dent should perform divine service when his health permitted,
and he could "invite occasionally other respectable clergy-
men of any denomination" to officiate. If no clergyman
could be obtained, some one of the professors read a religious
service. When the college was reorganized, the regulation
reads: "When there is public worship at the College chapel
on Sunday, every student shall attend the same and deport
himself with becoming solemnity ; unless he shall be a mem-
ber of some church or religious denomination having regular
worship on Sunday, in the town of Columbia, of which he
shall give notice to the President, or unless his parent or
guardian shall designate some church in which there is regu-
lar worship on Sunday, and desire that he may be permitted
to attend the same." It had become before this necessary
to give permission for attendance on church. This edition
of the laws (1836) does not mention regular morning and
evening prayers on Sunday. In the next edition of the laws
( 1848 ) the faculty were required to cause prayers to be said
in the chapel on Sunday morning, which the students were
to attend. Public worship on Sunday in the chapel was
required as above, except that a communicant of a church in
town having regular worship, differing from that to which
the chaplain belongs, could attend that church on giving
written notice to the president, or if the parent or guardian

Online LibraryEdwin L. (Edwin Luther) GreenA history of the University of South Carolina → online text (page 19 of 38)