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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Student Misbehavior

Bell rung for class changes, 1850s

Misbehaving students committed a wide assortment of violations, including talking during prayers, shooting pistols, and hoisting pigs into dormitory rooms. Cheating became a sport for many students, who transformed it into "a trial of wit between the class and the Professor, and it was considered good fun to win." They cut holes in classroom floors, put good students under them, and passed questions down by a string—what was called "working the telegraph." To discourage drinking, the General Assembly prohibited grog shops within two miles of campus and forbade billiard tables and public gaming tables within five miles.