This looks like a fraternity initiation thought up by an entrance committee that wanted to keep its membership to a minimum. Actually, it is a survival exercise for Peace Corps volunteers. Besides learning how to be ingratiating in foreign lands, corpsmen are given training in "drownproofing," a course devised by Fred Lanoue of Georgia Tech. The swimmer-slowly bobs with a minimum of movement, releasing breath just before he emerges, then sucking in more air at the top. If he manages this, he can look forward to having his feet tied as well as his hands.
This is an article from the Sept. 25, 1961 issue