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West Georgia College Rat Cap collection

Identifier: UA-0009-0013

Scope and Contents note

Two freshman wool caps bearing the school colors blue and red worn during Rat Week at West Georgia College.


  • 1930s-1950s

Conditions Governing Access note

Open to all users.

Conditions Governing Use note

As stipulated by U.S. copyright laws.

Biographical/Historical note

Rat Week was a freshman hazing ritual on the West Georgia College campus that began approximately in the 1930s and ended in 1969. Rat Week was a hazing ritual used to initiate freshmen to campus during the fall quarter. Many college campuses had a similar tradition where freshmen would be forced to wear a signifier, usually a hat, that marked them as separate from the rest of the college community. The costume used on the West Georgia College campus changed over the years—morphing from dressing as comic strip characters and painting “RAT” across the face to wearing a hat or a string tail. Under upperclassmen supervisors, the freshmen would clean windows, the tennis courts, school buses, and do other campus chores. There were also events on and off campus during the week that included a parade, a mock trial followed by an execution, and a “shotgun wedding."


0.75 Linear feet (1 box)




This collection contains two freshman wool caps from Rat Week, an instructional hazing ritual on the West Georgia College campus. Freshmen had to wear “rat caps” for the duration of the week and perform tasks for the upperclassmen.

Arrangement note

Stored together in an archival box.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

One was a gift from Daniel Jackson at an unknown date and the other was obtained by Associate Dean Chris Huff from Twigs and Feathers antique shop in Carrollton in September 2012.

Processing Information note

Processed by Allison Perrigo, July 2019.

Guide to West Georgia College Rat Cap collection UA-0009-0013
July 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the University of West Georgia Special Collections Repository

Special Collections, Ingram Library
University of West Georgia
1601 Maple Street
Carrollton GA 30118-2000 United States