With women’s campuses in close proximity, the men of N.C. State were quick to join the panty raid fad of the 1950s and ’60s. When Watauga Hall was renovated as a women’s dorm for the 1963-64 academic year, the guys decided to stage a raid in their own backyard. Raleigh Times writer Carol Colvard described the scene.
About 10:45 p.m., a crowd estimated at 1,000 male students marched to the dorm and began chanting requests of lingerie.
The march began between Lee and Bragaw dormitories and the crowd gathered strength on the diagonal route to Watauga.
“It all started when two boys in a car blocked a car with two girls in it,” said one student who did not explain further. Student spokesmen agreed the raid was spontaneous and didn’t have the benefit of even tentative plans.
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About 1,000 boys were scattered on three sides of the dorm while the girls, sardined six to a window, watched from darkened rooms. There were no screens removed, no panties thrown and no storming of the bastions.
A group of student hall counselors acted as guardians of the portals and admitted late-arriving coeds and college officials through the front doors.
Inside, the housemother and the Dean of Women refused to comment. The girls were receiving phone calls from entire floors of dormitories who had missed out on the march and were sending their regrets.
Lack of response from the coeds and the arrivals of administrative officials caused the sensation-seekers to march on St. Mary’s Junior College.
The group began a semi-orderly hike up Hillsboro Street. (“On the sidewalk,” emphasized one spokesman.) They were about 2,000 strong when they arrived.
The only damage of the evening was done there when several boys climbed fire escapes and ripped some screens from the frames. Reports from participants indicated that demands for panties netted two pair.
City police, conspicuously lacking on the NCS campus, were at St. Mary’s and firmly discouraged plans to continue the march in the direction of Peace College.
One statistician reported the presence of 13 police cars, four motorcycles, one paddy wagon, and about 30 policemen.
When college officials moved among the yelling mob and began interviewing individuals, the crowd turned homeward. When they passed Watauga again at midnight, they shouted but did not stop.
Athletics publicity director Frank Weedon was taking frantic inventory to make sure none of the athletes were engaged in sports not listed in the catalog. The Raleigh Times Nov. 17, 1964
The guys hadn’t had much luck with earlier attempts either. In 1953, N&O writer Charles Craven reported on a raid where the authorities took a much more serious approach.
A yowling mob of State College students tried a panty raid on Meredith College last night – but it was a dismal failure.
Husky patrolmen of the Raleigh Police Department, using tear gas and roughhouse tactics, arrested about 65 of the students. There were no serious injuries reported.
At least three Wake Forest students were run in on the mass arrest. They said they were just over for a visit.
Police Chief Tom Davis, standing in the area where three Central Prison buses were being loaded, said “We have to stop this sort of thing. If we don’t somebody will be hurt.”
The object of the raid, apparently, was to gain entrance to the bureau drawers at Meredith and take the girls’ panties....
During the height of the event and after things died down, not a panty was seen. Although three or four of the students got on a dormitory porch at the rear of the college, none were believed to have got in the dormitories.
One girl told officers from her second story window, “They’re too cute to arrest.” The N&O May 28, 1953
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