Thursday, August 15, 2013 - Sunday, August 25, 2013
About R.A.T.S. Week
R.A.T.S. Week welcomes new students to Georgia Tech through programs that offer information, fun activities, opportunities to get involved, and events where they can meet other students.
R.A.T.S. stands for "Recently-Acquired Tech Students," and acknowledging new students as such is one of the many treasured traditions at Tech. There is more behind the R.A.T.S. program than little yellow hats.
It began with the campus ROTC program, which required new students (freshmen and transfers) to wear these undersized, bright yellow hats at all times. If found without their hat by an upperclassmen, the students had their heads shaved, leaving nothing but a GT. After a while, the rest of campus got into the act, and all new students entering Tech were forced to wear the hats or face the same penalty.
The practice of head shaving has since been abolished, but the RATS program was kept alive in spirit. Much of the RATS tradition has continued, including several freshman cheers like, "What's the good word?!" (...You'll find out the answer soon enough).
The tradition of wearing the cap, with careful attention to the many rules on the hat's upkeep, is still regarded. Many organizations, especially the GT Band, make sure each year that the RATS tradition is kept alive.