Until the mid 1990's, Rose-Hulman was an all-male institution. Visiting girlfriends and sisters invariably reported feeling hundreds of eyes watching them from the moment they stepped on campus until the moment they left. If you had a giggling schoolgirl or two in your room, you could be sure your neighbors would call you or hammer on your door so they could at least get a look. Rosies weren't usually the most socially adept members of geekdom, and generally failed to be discreet in their stalking. Many evolved the ability to recognize a woman's footsteps from two floors away.

This super-concentration of testosterone did have some inspirational side-effects.

  • The stories of bomb-building that other noders have posted are not exaggerations. I distinctly recall three different styles of bombs being set off in one day. (These were a dry ice bomb, a Drano bomb, and even a thermite bomb.)

  • Freshman were forced by upperclassmen and faculty alike to uphold the great tradition of building the Homecoming Bonfire. The wood was generally stacked a few stories high, and burned so bright that planes landing at the local airstrip were rerouted for the evening. Few neo-engineers can resist the temptation to walk up to the massive bonfire and touch the burning wood. Impromptu contests of stamina and resistance to heat exhaustion were an annual phenomenon.

  • Handfuls of freshmen who had not yet had their will to live sucked dry banded into Laking Squads. The sole purpose of a Laking Squad is to seek out a target (often a Resident Advisor or some other student official) and toss said target into the waters of Speed Lake. Polite laking squads gave the target a chance to change into something more comfortable before immersion. The more despicable frats occasionally tossed targets into aptly-named Scum Pond.

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