Blast from the Past: A guide to campus stereotypes

Published 9/22/1967 Author Scott Lewis

One of the prime instincts of the Froshus novice upon arriving at the unfamiliar campus habitat is to seek security in stereotyping. The Froshus novice quickly evaluates its fellow Froshus novices and Classmen upperi for physical appearances, mannerisms, etc. in order to place them in any number of broad categories.

As a public service, the editors feel that this year a guide ought to be published to ease the Froshus novice’s task, especially since it can take weeks to become acquainted with all the species which abound in the native Lawrence habitat.

Bookus wormus, commonly called a “Grind”, frequents the Appleton Carnegie library from around 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. with intermittent activities like attending class or feeding. At 11 p.m. when the library closes, the male Bookus wormus seeks the comfort of the subterranean After Hours Reading Room. The female must, according to the law, return to her living quarters and use the dorm study lounge or her own lodging.

Bookus wormus worships the legendary 3 point and worries endlessly about literally making the grade. Outstanding features: Hard of hearing because the ears have fallen out of use due to the creature’ habitual obliviousness to everything around it. Never says anything casual or stupid, for to do so would be to lose its status as Bookus wormus.

Jockus muscularis lives at Alexander Gymnasium. Physically it is quite the opposite of Bookus wormus. While nine-tenths of Bookus’s magnificence is concentrated above the neckline, nine-tenths of Jockus’s wonderment is concentrated below. Jockus is traditionally very loud, letting the surrounding species know that it is Jockus muscularis, especially Femmes gorgeous whom we shall study later.

Pertinent facts: must indulge in all sorts of athletic activity particularly during certain seasons in order to keep up its Jockus status and achieve the valued variety of Jockus muscularis herois, natural enemy of the 98-pound form of Weakling skinnius. Fortunately, male Jocki far outnumber female.

Boozum guzzlum is the very common species usually frequenting the campus by day, but nocturnally found up and down College Ave. at the Mark, the Shack, or the Wursthaus. The older Booza inhabit Leroy’s or Jim’s. Of course, Boozum guzzlum, which thrives on a primarily liquid diet, is not confined to any of the above places, but lack of wheels makes its sphere of travel rather limited.

Characterized by: Male with a large pot belly and a boisterous host of companions of the same species surrounding him while imbibing. Female with a glassy-eyed silly expression and a lusty host of Wolfi horni nearby encouraging her to imbibe. Natural enemy is the Resident headus, who discourages Boozum from feeding in its living quarters.

[Portion omitted for relevance and taste. Full text available online at http://lux.lawrence.edu/lawrentian/115/]

Naturally these are not all the stereotypes which one can find. However, the Froshus novice who has a quick eye and a narrow mind easily can provide his own stereotypes as the possibilities are almost unlimited.

Today’s take

This article is a relic of its time. To be clear, this in no way excuses its blatant shortcomings. However, I believe that some value can still be derived from it.

While this article does not explicitly focus on Lawrence athletics, it has clear and indisputable relevance to perceptions of athletes, at Lawrence and in general. The article succinctly demonstrates some popular stereotypes surrounding athletics. While this is partially tongue-in-cheek, these stereotypes are still relevant today. These stereotypes are harmful to the institution of athletics, as well as to athletes and potential athletes.

We have all encountered stereotypes surrounding athletics. These stereotypes harm athletics by alienating people who do not “live up to” them, as well as people who do not want to be associated with them. Who would want to be associated with the presumed mental inferiority of the Jockus muscularis? This harms athletics, as otherwise capable athletes might not participate. Additionally, potential athletes who are dissuaded from participation are harmed in that they do not receive the benefits of athletics which they otherwise might absent of negative stereotypes.

In addition to general stereotypes around athletics, this article is also interesting for its treatment of gender. This is in part due to its time period. The article predates Title IX, and thus displays dated perspectives on the role of women in athletics. Thankfully, gender is no longer as limiting a factor in one’s ability to partake in athletics. However, there is still resistance to non-male athletes in the world of athletics. This is unacceptable. Athletics should be open and accessible to all, no matter the individual’s identity.

The views expressed in this article are in decline. However, it is still important to recognize the presence of stereotypes surrounding athletics, and work to eliminate them. Athletics should be open to all.

 

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