From the moment that students step on campus for orientation, they become part of the Blue Hen tradition. During the 19th and much of the 20th century, Delaware freshmen were hazed by upperclassmen during their first few weeks or months on campus. While occasional fights broke out between the all-male freshman and sophomore classes in the 19th and early 20th century, hazing was fairly modest by the 1920s.
Freshmen were required to wear their class beanies and name badges at all times on campus and to identify themselves upon request to any sophomore, junior or senior. They were prohibited from walking on the grass on the Green, required to attend all pep rallies held before each Delaware football game and experienced other similar restrictions. Known as "rat rules," these regulations were meant to create class and school spirit.