This excerpt from the electronic edition of the book, “Laws of the University of North-Carolina; Established by the Board of Trustees at Their Session in December, 1799,” from the digitization project, Documenting the American South, provides many regulations for students at the University when they would go to the dining hall.
The first law states that before each meal, students must get with their class and wait for their professor or tutor to sit down (Board). The second states that students must sit with their class and that if there are any officers of the College at the table, they have authority to dismiss any student misbehaving (Board). The third states that students should send food to their professor or tutor if it is not good enough, and it can be sent back to the kitchen (Board). The fourth states that students may not sit without their professor or tutor asking a blessing and when the professor or tutor stands for dismissal, the students should stand to receive thanks, then leave (Board). The fifth and last law pertaining to the dining room states that no student should take their seat after the blessing and no student should leave the dining room without permission (Board).
Since there were very few students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1799, there was only one class with one professor, so it was easy for the students to find their professor and classmates at the dining hall. As the numbers grew it was harder to regulate what time students should go to the dining hall and to regulate who could sit with who. Now, there are multiple small tables in the Lenoir Dining Hall instead of few big tables because people want to sit with their friends, and people have many different classes at different times, so they eat whenever they can or want to. Also, the professors eat whenever they can or want to and they do not have to supervise the students. There is more of a common knowledge of manners in the dining hall in today’s world than there was back then, so we do not need laws for the dining hall.
Board of Trustees, University of North Carolina (1793-1962). Laws of the University of North-Carolina; Established by the Board of Trustees at Their Session in December, 1799. Raleigh: J. Gales, 1800. Documenting the American South. 2005. University Library, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 5 October 2018, https://docsouth.unc.edu/unc/uncbk1018/uncbk1018.html.