While today new students/freshmen drinking during O-Week would be a scandal, this was not always the case. Last week’s KTRU Tuesday recording from August 1982 had a news story about Lovett College’s Casino Party no longer being a way to introduce new students to alcohol. One major reason is that the drinking age in Texas had been increased to 19.
It took some time until O-Week became officially dry. That year was 1989. The Hanszen College O-Week coordinators turned the new status quo into an O-Week theme and summed up their feelings in their T-shirt.
Lovett College and Sid Richardson College thumbed their nose at the new policy. Lovett’s O-Week book has a stag drinking out of a beer mug with a straw, as seen below. Sid embraced partying with a fiesta theme.
To read more about Rice’s first dry O-Week, check out this Thresher.
Images from: Harry Clay Hanszen College Records, Rice University, 1963-2015, UA 072, Box 22, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University
Edgar Odell Lovett College Records, Rice University, 1967-2015, UA 071, Box 34, Folder 17, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.
UPDATE: This comment comes from an “anonymous reader.” We thank that person for the information.
“First, the legal drinking age in Texas was 21 for many years after the end of Prohibition until about 1973, when it dropped to 18 for the first time; second, alcohol was formally banned on campus for many years for all students, even those over 21 (and its possession was a rustication offense), although the rule was widely but not openly ignored.
As a result, all alcohol parties had to occur off campus and thus were subject to local law enforcement, not friendly campus police. I do not remember any alcohol being served during my first week as a Rice student in 1966 (then called “Freshman Week”).
That rule was one reason why Beer-Bike was such a big deal — the rule somehow just didn’t apply to the beer drinking relay team during the race.”